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Tunnel scam targets dirt-poor Palestinians

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posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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GAZA CITY -- Poverty-stricken Gaza where even the most basic goods are in short supply has spawned its very own financial scandal --- centered around the tunnels that run under the border with Egypt to circumvent the Israeli blockade.

Palestinians desperate to pull themselves out of poverty were encouraged to invest in the smuggling tunnels constantly being built in the border town of Rafah.

There is big money to be made from operating a tunnel -- they are the main economic lifeline for Gaza -- but some of those who collected money for construction disappeared without building any tunnels. Estimates of how much was lost vary widely from $100 to $500 million.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


Source



[edit on 4-11-2009 by LadySkadi]




posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 07:58 PM
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Tunnel scam targets dirt poor Palestinians

The article goes on to say that Hamas is actively working to try to get the money back and have 2 suspects in custody. Investors and workers have lost money and some have lost their lives while working in the tunnels. Unemployment in Gaza is near 80% making the tunnels lucrative to both build and run.


Hundreds of tunnels snake under the Gaza-Egypt border and thousands of Palestinians find work smuggling in motorcycles, fridges, food, cigarettes, livestock -- whatever Gazans want and can't get because of the blockade. Israel says some of these tunnels are used to smuggle in weapons.


Apparently children are often recruited to work in the tunnels, often lured by the promise of earning a lot of money, some running away from home, but others are "pushed" into working...


Dr. Iyad Saraj, Gaza's leading child psychologist said: "There is a pushing factor for the children, pushing them out in the streets because the house is so deprived and there is a pulling factor in the tunnel business or any business to tell them you can make some money there. So the children are entangled into this cycle."


[edit on 4-11-2009 by LadySkadi]



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 08:12 PM
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Gaza's dangerous underground lifelines - Aug 09





Gaza tunnel trader vows to carry on - Jan 09





[edit on 4-11-2009 by LadySkadi]



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 08:15 PM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 


It's a rough life.
Exploiting children has been an age old story. Hopefully this will end soon.



posted on Nov, 4 2009 @ 10:57 PM
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Tunnel fraud leaves Gazans on verge of financial ruin


At first the tunnels emerged as smuggling routes; then they became the vital lifeline for a Gaza under economic siege by Israel. But many people who invested in the tunnels now see them quite differently - as a source of ruination.

The tunnel schemes were advertised as opportunities for doubling and trebling money by unscrupulous figures linked to powerful businessmen in Gaza and, allegedly, to senior officials in Hamas, but have instead led to huge losses for ordinary residents of the Strip.


This article goes on to state that Israel insisted, as part of a cease-fire agreement in January, that the tunnels were to be closed. However, there are scores of them and still ever more being dug. Apparently, Israel knows of them but has not made an issue of them because it "finds their existence convenient because they take pressure off the argument for reopening the Gaza crossings."


The victims name two companies run by Wael al-Rubi, in addition to that of Kurdi, as being the major movers behind the tunnel schemes, names confirmed by Zaza as being under investigation. While neither of these men was well known in Gaza business circles before the launch of the schemes, the men who sold the investments on their behalf were representatives of well-known merchant families.

"The tunnels are the worst thing that ever happened to Gaza," says Tawfiq. "It has poisoned it. It has turned Gaza into a prison economy. And for what? For chocolate and bicycles."


What led to the catastrophic losses for many Gazans is difficult to unravel. But some, including Zaza, insist the investment schemes, launched before Israel's assault on Gaza in late December and January, were a criminal scam from the start.



[edit on 4-11-2009 by LadySkadi]



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 09:45 AM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 


LadSkadi,

All I have to say is that war is Hell.

This is nothing new really ask anyone, compared to the Coyote's smuggling illegal immigrants into the United States from Mexico, the difference is the location, that's it.

Same exact reason, financial issues, same exact thing happening, our border captures them, and ships them back, meanwhile, some of them are pregnant and have their babies on American soil.

The American/Mexican border has now been a militarized zone for quite some time.

The smuggling happens all over the world.

[edit on 5-11-2009 by SpartanKingLeonidas]



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas
 


I realize it's nothing new and happening in many places. People are resourceful and will find ways to get what they need. There are always ways to make a profit off of another, while providing goods/services to yet another...



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 10:49 AM
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Gaza tunnel commerce boom: 'We can get anything for anybody ... any time'


The huge increase in approved smuggling tunnels between the Gaza Strip and neighboring Egypt is even placing luxury cars within reach of Gazan consumers.

"We can get anything for anybody at almost any time," a Palestinian involved in the tunnel industry said. The sources said the Hamas regime approved the sharp increase of tunnels in wake of the war with Israel
in January 2009. They said the number of tunnels skyrocketed from about 700 to 1,500 over the last eight months.

"Hamas directly controls about 100 tunnels and this supplies the government and security forces," the Palestinian said. "Whenever they need something fast, they turn to private tunnel operators."

Egypt and Israel have sought to block the Palestinian tunnel industry. But the sources said the number of tunnels discovered and destroyed marked a less than one percent of the smuggling network.




[edit on 5-11-2009 by LadySkadi]



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 11:30 AM
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The American/Mexican border is very quickly becoming what we are seeing here in Gaza. If a people are blockaded, they will find ways of trading for what they need. Who here thinks the Palestinians deserve their own State? Who here thinks the Israelis commit terrorism against the Palestinians?

Israel is also drumming up support on American television for a strike on Iran, let him who has eyes see this. I see in the near future a limited war between Israel and Iran and the destruction of one city in each Nation, perhaps by nuclear strikes....



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 01:22 PM
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Originally posted by LadySkadi
reply to post by SpartanKingLeonidas
 


I realize it's nothing new and happening in many places. People are resourceful and will find ways to get what they need. There are always ways to make a profit off of another, while providing goods/services to yet another...



LadySkadi, sorry, I did not mean to sound like I was belittling your thread.

That was not my intent in the least, it is just hard to give a damn about any other country right now when ours is so screwed and the lying bastards in Washington D.C. and as well the White House have done nothing for so long about our country, and I fail to see them doing anything anytime soon to resolve the losses of jobs, the losses of homes, and the losses of our country through what I can only call a stone cold sham where they have intentionally screwed our nation's citizens.

I have never given a damn about the lies they sell to us from Washington D.C.

This crap happening in the Middle East is just another sham, perpetrated by financial predators.

Whether you're speaking of D.C. or the Al Saud family, or any side of any faction, it is all a pack of lies, designed and meant to suck the money out of our pockets.

[edit on 5-11-2009 by SpartanKingLeonidas]



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas

SNIP

Whether you're speaking of D.C. or the Al Saud family, or any side of any faction, it is all a pack of lies, designed and meant to suck the money out of our pockets.


Didn't take it the wrong way, no worries. So many places are in similar circumstances... I agree with that last sentence... money and power have much to do (from top to bottom) it effects everyone whether one thinks so, or not.

[edit on 5-11-2009 by LadySkadi]



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by LadySkadi

Originally posted by SpartanKingLeonidas

SNIP

Whether you're speaking of D.C. or the Al Saud family, or any side of any faction, it is all a pack of lies, designed and meant to suck the money out of our pockets.


Didn't take it the wrong way, no worries. So many places are in similar circumstances... I agree with that last sentence... money and power have much to do (from top to bottom) it effects everyone whether one thinks so, or not.

[edit on 5-11-2009 by LadySkadi]


I am glad you understood what I meant.


I am getting fed up with the Fed, meaning the Federal Reserve.

These crooks have scuttled our economy enough.

If it were not for these bastards people would not resort to tunnels and smuggling, at least in my opinion. And I could be wrong about that, it might just be the specific area.

In the Middle East, it is to smuggle all of this stuff, more or less to bypass embargo's.

In the American/Mexican border it is so that the Mexican's can come work, to escape the economic oppression.

In Vietnam, it was for the Vietcong to bypass the South Vietnamese and our troops.

In WWII it was the Nazis trying desperately to escape Germany via the Rat Lines.

In WWI it was Trench Warfare.

History repeats itself, it really does do it, whether people realize it or not.



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 04:36 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Yep, hopefully Israel and Egypt will actually let that particular border open up and stop colluding the dick over the Palestinians.

But then I remember it's Israel and Egypt, and I realize I'm engaging in wishful thinking.



posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 04:58 AM
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reply to post by TheWalkingFox
 


Hamas has been actively working to stop fringe groups from firing rockets into Israel since Op. Cast Lead. Israeli politicians have noted this point publicly. Expect to see Israel relax the border restrictions in the near future as a reward (unless something else kicks off).

That's how these things work - if Hamas acts like a responsible government, it gets treated like one. If it acts like a gang of thugs and criminals, why should Israel open its border with them?



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 12:50 AM
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In the Tunnels: Gaza's Underground Economy Oct. '09


For Israel, the tunnels have always been a key political target, first for the weapons and now, perhaps, for their link to the Hamas government, which many people here say profits off the tunnel trade. Last winter, Israeli forces destroyed most of the tunnel network, along with much of the Gaza Strip's infrastructure, during its three-week offensive, Operation Cast Lead. But the tunnel workers got right back underground. "We are just trying to earn a living here. We have no other choice," says Abu Obeida, a potato-chip and clothes smuggler who has been working in tunnels for a year and a half and says he used to be a contractor. Says al-Hubi, the shopkeeper: "Even if Israel destroys all of the tunnels entirely, I'm quite sure that the tunnels will only be dug again and again." Read more: www.time.com...

If the crossings opened up, many say all that would change. "It's accurate to say that the economy has been destroyed. All aspects of the commercial sector are in tatters, including the physical infrastructure," says the U.N.'s Ging. "But what we have here is a phenomenal entrepreneurial spirit, and the only thing we need to revive the economy of Gaza is the creation of opportunity, which means lifting the siege." Read more: www.time.com...



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 12:56 PM
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re: US/Mexican Border

Soldiers Discover Half Built Tunnel At Mexico/US Border Nov. 09


TIJUANA, Mexico — Mexican troops discovered a 122 yard long tunnel apparently aimed at crossing the U.S. border underground.

Army Gen. Alberto Duarte Mujica says soldiers found the half-built tunnel under a three-story building in the border city of Tijuana.

The army said Sunday that soldiers raided a warehouse where equipment used to build the tunnel was stored, and found 275 pounds of marijuana. They also detained seven men and two women in the Saturday raid.

The wood-lined, 6-foot high tunnel was apparently meant to extend another 144 yards to reach U.S. territory. It was equipped with electrical lights and a ventilation system. Drug and immigrant smugglers often use such tunnels.



posted on Jan, 2 2010 @ 08:50 PM
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*Update*

Israeli Warplanes Bomb Gaza Tunnel Jan '10


A year after the Gaza War, the bombs are still falling. Israeli warplanes launched missiles at several open fields in the Gaza Strip late Friday, sparking a series of loud explosions.

Israeli warplanes bombed two tunnels along the Gaza border. The army said Palestinian militants planned to use the tunnels to infiltrate Israel and carry out an attack.

The airstrike occurred as Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas, which rules Gaza, are negotiating a prisoner swap. Under the emerging deal, Israel would release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. He was captured more than three years ago, when Hamas gunmen tunneled under the Gaza border and infiltrated an Israeli army base.

Israel is reluctant to release top militants responsible for deadly attacks, and Hamas has threatened to step up the pressure on the Jewish state with another kidnapping.





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