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Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Gaza tunnel export trade is heating up

Gaza tunnel operators have been forced to change their business plans from smuggling items into Gaza into smuggling them out, now that Gaza is awash with Israeli goods.

PalPress (Arabic) has the most detailed article yet about this phenomenon.

The number one export is copper, apparently scavenged from damaged buildings. Copper scrap is sold in the markets of the cities of El Arish and Rafah and Sheikh Zuwaid. Also in demand are scrap aluminum, steel and iron.

Comsumer goods are also being smuggled into Egypt, apparently those being sent from Israel. These include soap ("Hawaiian" brand) and hair gel, as well as Israeli dairy products.

They are also exporting home-grown nuts, animal skins, fruit and eggs, all of which are much cheaper in Gaza than Egypt. Gaza mangoes are half the price of mangoes available in Egypt.

The tunnel operators are not making nearly the profit they used to, however. A ton of nuts costs only $100 to smuggle to Egypt.