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Strikes make Gaza bereft of essentials

Marketplace Staff Jan 2, 2009
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Strikes make Gaza bereft of essentials

Marketplace Staff Jan 2, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Daniel Estrin: In the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip, a daily pounding of Israeli air strikes has taken down strongholds of the Hamas leadership. This morning, a mosque was hit that Israel says was a rocket storage hub. Tensions are incredibly high there, and businesses are feeling the effects, too. What was once a thriving underground trade — literally — is now plugged. From Jerusalem, Daniel Estrin reports.


Daniel Estrin: More than 80 tunnels were targeted by Israeli warplanes this week. Now almost all of the 800 plus tunnels are closed. They had brought weapons for Hamas and also commercial goods for consumers.

There has been a recent sighting of bananas, according to an Israeli daily, which could mean that a brave few are still working the tunnels. But bananas don’t make up for the lack of essential supplies that are running short, like cooking fuel.

Gasoline is also in short supply. The U.N. is providing food aid to the poorest in Gaza. But other Palestinians are finding grocery stores almost bare. Also, glass window panes aren’t anywhere to be bought in Gaza. Which is why reporter Hassan Jaber, is keeping his windows open.

Hassan Jaber (voice of interpreter): Yeah it’s cold inside. But what can I do? I’m afraid that maybe at any moment the Israelis could drop bombs here and blow up my windows. So I always keep the windows open to avoid shattered glass.

What Israel is letting into Gaza are increased amounts of humanitarian aid and medicine. And as of today, what they’re letting out are Palestinians with foreign passports.

From Jerusalem, I’m Daniel Estrin for Marketplace.

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