Gaza's smuggling tunnels

Egypt's crackdown on smuggling tunnels along its

border with the Gaza Strip is making shortages ever tighter and has

forced the enclave's Islamist Hamas rulers to consider urgent

alternatives. Hamas officials asked Egypt late on Monday to consider

alternative trade routes, such as a free trade zone, a direct deal that

could boost Hamas tax revenues and circumvent rival Fatah's and Israel's

control of official imports to Gaza.

A Palestinian man works at a tunnel used for smuggling goods into the Gaza Strip, which links Egypt to the southern Gaza town of Rafah in 2011. "If this closure continues it will be a disaster," says Abu Taha, who runs one of hundreds of cross-border smuggling tunnels that were closed after a deadly attack in the Sinai
A Palestinian man works at a tunnel used for smuggling goods into the Gaza Strip
A Palestinian man works at a tunnel used for smuggling goods into the Gaza Strip, which links Egypt to the southern Gaza town of Rafah in 2011. "If this closure continues it will be a disaster," says Abu Taha, who runs one of hundreds of cross-border smuggling tunnels that were closed after a deadly attack in the Sinai
A Palestinian stands inside a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah. Egypt's closure of scores of cross-border smuggling tunnels has affected the flow of goods into Gaza but has not dealt the knockout blow widely expected by traders and officials
The Egyptian military claims to have destroyed 31 of the 225 main tunnels running under the border
A Palestinian stands inside a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border in Rafah. Egypt's closure of scores of cross-border smuggling tunnels has affected the flow of goods into Gaza but has not dealt the knockout blow widely expected by traders and officials
Palestinians survey the damage to a smuggling tunnel after it was targeted in an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip in February 2012. Israel's Shin Bet said on Wednesday it was holding a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who was allegedly involved in planning a suicide attack and the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier
Palestinians survey the damage to a smuggling tunnel after it was targeted in an Israeli air strike in Rafah
Palestinians survey the damage to a smuggling tunnel after it was targeted in an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip in February 2012. Israel's Shin Bet said on Wednesday it was holding a Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who was allegedly involved in planning a suicide attack and the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier

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