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Story Publication logo October 25, 2011

Gaza: Beating the Blockade



Few thought Tunisia's December 2010 uprising would so quickly spark revolts in the surrounding...

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Until about a year ago, consumer goods were in short supply. An easing of the Israeli blockade and proliferation of smuggling tunnels from Egypt has made clothing and some other goods more available. Image by Reese Erlich. Gaza, 2011.

There's been so much media coverage over the years about the Palestinian territory of Gaza--bombs, terrorism, war and peace talks--but you rarely hear about what life's like for ordinary Gazans who are just trying to make a living and buy a better house or toys for their kids.

Six years ago, when Hamas won elections in Gaza, Israel imposed an economic blockade which shut down business, transport and lots of aspects of daily life. But the people of Gaza have found ingenious ways to get around the blockade, like smuggling goods through tunnels under the border with Egypt. The economy has improved so much there's even a real estate boom going on - with houses selling for up to a million dollars.

There's improvement on the political front too. Influenced by the Arab Spring uprisings, the two parties--Hamas and Fatah--have been co-operating. And President Mahmoud Abbas is continuing his push for full United Nations membership for Palestine.





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