Thousands of young Egyptians earn a living from smuggling into Strip. Now Egypt's construction of steel wall along border is causing anger among Bedouins who fear loss of easy income
The steel wall Egypt is installing along the border of the Gaza Strip is provoking the rage of the Hamas leadership which exchanged harsh words with the government in Cairo. Hamas asserts that this steel bulwark is intended to serve the security interests of Israel.
However, apart from the political issue, the construction has significant economic implications, including a risk to profits for the tunnel smugglers from both sides. This point is causing anger against the construction at the Rafah border also among the Bedouin residents of the Sinai, who fear that they will lose an easy source of income they have enjoyed since Hamas came to power.
Egyptian newspaper al-Youm al-Sabe'a has spotlighted this issue and the negative economic implications expected to affect the Sinai Bedouins as a result of the Egyptian project.
According to evidence collected by the newspaper, in recent years thousands of young Egyptians have earned a living directly or indirectly through smuggling into Gaza, a trade valued at a little under a billion dollars.
Residents of Egyptian Rafah wonder at the reports of the Gaza siege, and claim that their situation isn’t much better. Unemployment rates are high and jobs are scarce, which has led thousands to work in jobs connected with the tunnel smuggling.
Read more at YNet.