The Israeli blockade of Gaza has made smuggling tunnels like this one all-important.
Israel’s blockade of Gaza is making archenemy Hamas rich. According to The Christian Science Monitor, Gaza businessmen (who are going bankrupt thanks to the blockade) say Hamas and friends “have been using their control of smuggling tunnels, money changing, and tax revenue to buy prime tracts of land and buildings. ...”
Christian Science Monitor:
The two-year-old blockade has strangled Gaza’s economy and put the majority of Gazans out of business. Israel’s logic has been that a collapsing economy will convince Gaza’s people to push Hamas from power. But instead, Hamas – which rose to prominence as a “clean” alternative to the famously corrupt Fatah – has benefited handsomely. Now, the movement and its friends appear to be supplanting Gaza’s traditional business leaders, which could entrench its political position as well.
They’re doing so, veteran Gaza businessmen say, thanks to the fact that Hamas can generate capital while all its potential competitors are running dry. They charge that Hamas and its associates have been using their control of smuggling tunnels, money changing, and tax revenue to buy prime tracts of land and buildings across Gaza, particularly along the enclave’s main boulevards.