Gaza looks beyond the tunnel economy
By Tobias Buck in Rafah
Published: May 24 2010 03:00
"…..Moreover, the prices of many smuggled goods have fallen in recent months, thanks to a supply glut that is on striking display across the Strip.
Some argue that Gaza's tunnel economy is becoming a victim of its own success. Hundreds of tunnels have shut down over the past year as the result of greater Egyptian efforts to stop the flow of goods - and weapons - into the Strip. But the remaining tunnels, about 200 to 300 according to most estimates, have become so efficient that shops all over Gaza are bursting with goods.
Branded products such as Coca-Cola, Nescafé, Snickers and Heinz ketchup - long absent as a result of the Israeli blockade - are both cheap and widely available.
However, the tunnel operators have also flooded Gaza with Korean refrigerators, German food mixers and Chinese airconditioning units. Tunnel operators and traders alike complain of a saturated market - and falling prices.
"Everything I demand, I can get," says Abu Amar al-Kahlout, who sells household goods out of a warehouse big enough to accommodate a passenger jet….."