June 13, 2015
In Blog News
I asked my young correspondent Muhammad from Gaza his opinion of the New York Times story in today’s edition:
Here’s what he replied:
The tunnels were first dug in 2007 because people in Gaza were desperate. Israel had imposed a siege after Hamas won the parliamentary elections in January 2006. Not even bread was available in the marketplace. The first goods that came from Egypt were simple things like cheese, snacks and candies.
I still remember those terrible times. My father rushed to purchase something when we heard the news on the radio. He bought three boxes of Twinkies (the spongy cake), and gave me two pieces. I kept them for more critical times and instead ate a thyme sandwich in homemade fossil bread.
The tunnel economy eventually expanded to make fortunes, even more for Egyptian officers (they were paid to shut their eyes when they caught you) than Palestinians. People were soon able to bring everything through the tunnels—KFC, McDonalds “happy meals,” even humans. A lover boy brought his Canadian bride through a tunnel.
So, what do I think of the article?
In 2007, during the fighting between Hamas and Fatah, an unknown group totally destroyed it. It might have been Hamas, it might have been Fatah, no one knows, except, it seems, the Times reporter.
In other words, it’s a great article if you like Arabian Nights stories.