Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gaza Tunnels and Rockets

Time Magazine just released a great photo album about the Gaza Tunnels. To give a quick background, Gaza has been under a strict blockade by both Israel and Egypt since the militant Islamist Hamas took control. The effect on the everyday lives of Gazans has been devastating, with up to 80% of the population reliant on some type of assistance.

In response to the blockade, Gazans have constructed countless tunnels underneath the Egyptian-Gaza border. Originally intended for military goods, a veritable boom economy has sprouted around the tunnel system. All kinds of products now make the subterranean trip beneath the border, including animals for the Gaza zoo (though it was cheaper to paint stripes on a donkey than bring in a real zebra) . If you're interested in taking a trip yourself through the tunnels, check out this video by Current TV contributor and Gaza resident Zouheir Alnajjar.

However, we shouldn't forget why the blockade was originally instituted. Israel has been under intermittent but terrifying rocket attacks for years, both from Gaza and Lebanon. Besides his video on the tunnels, Alnajjar also provides an unsettling glimpse into the process of building and firing a Qassam rocket. But I'll embed this video by Jaron Gilinksy, also from Current, that shows a Katyusha rocket attack from Lebanon in 2006 that hits as he conducts an interview about that very topic.

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