Gazans need a new lifeline from stifling blockade



Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel has inflicted collective punishment on Palestinians in an attempt to weaken support for the armed group. As part of this, Israel has severely limited the importation of goods into Gaza, putting ordinary Palestinians on what Israeli officials once euphemistically termed "a diet".

The lifeline for Gazans in this blockade has been the smuggling tunnels, through which an estimated 30 per cent of goods enter the strip from the Egyptian side. These tunnels, many of which are significant constructions, lit by electric bulbs, are often the only way Palestinians in Gaza can bring in building materials and fuel, both of which are frequently stopped by Israel on spurious grounds. Hamas has benefited from fees and kickbacks garnered from smugglers and diggers.

This arrangement is simply untenable for all manner of reasons. Relying on subterranean mazes that are frequently targeted by Israeli weapons has left too many young men dead. It has also served to buttress Hamas, which is able to control the flow of humanitarian and illicit goods in and out of the territory.

So it's no wonder that Egypt has begun flooding these tunnels to shut them down, as The National reported yesterday. An attack last August on Egyptian soldiers near Gaza killed 16 and severely tested the relationship between Hamas and the Egyptian government. Egyptians have since taken to shutting down the burrows to stamp out movement.

Hamas expected better relations from Egypt. Many calculated that an elected government in Cairo would be more susceptible to public pressure from Egyptians, who sympathise with the cruel realities of the occupation. Perhaps more important, Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's president, was a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, with which Hamas shares deep roots. Many expected the two would work together against the Israeli blockade.

But there is a better way. Egypt has made clear its intention to open the Rafah crossing permanently, and has done so off and on since August. Hamas has argued that permanently opening the crossing would mean they could close the tunnels. It would certainly lessen the burden of Israel's blockade, while keeping all movements of goods, people and illicit goods above board. The blockade has so decimated living conditions that Hamas offers the only succour. If Mr Morsi was indeed looking to send Hamas a message, a better way would be to open Rafah permanently, and give Gazans another alternative and brake them free from the clutches of Hamas.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Living in...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

SERIES INFO

Afghanistan v Zimbabwe, Abu Dhabi Sunshine Series

All matches at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Test series

1st Test: Zimbabwe beat Afghanistan by 10 wickets
2nd Test: Wednesday, 10 March – Sunday, 14 March

Play starts at 9.30am

T20 series

1st T20I: Wednesday, 17 March
2nd T20I: Friday, 19 March
3rd T20I: Saturday, 20 March

TV
Supporters in the UAE can watch the matches on the Rabbithole channel on YouTube

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

JOKE'S ON YOU

Google wasn't new to busting out April Fool's jokes: before the Gmail "prank", it tricked users with mind-reading MentalPlex responses and said well-fed pigeons were running its search engine operations .

In subsequent years, they announced home internet services through your toilet with its "patented GFlush system", made us believe the Moon's surface was made of cheese and unveiled a dating service in which they called founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page "Stanford PhD wannabes ".

But Gmail was all too real, purportedly inspired by one – a single – Google user complaining about the "poor quality of existing email services" and born "millions of M&Ms later".

Anti-semitic attacks

The annual report by the Community Security Trust, which advises the Jewish community on security , warned on Thursday that anti-Semitic incidents in Britain had reached a record high.

It found there had been 2,255 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2021, a rise of 34 per cent from the previous year.

The report detailed the convictions of a number of people for anti-Semitic crimes, including one man who was jailed for setting up a neo-Nazi group which had encouraged “the eradication of Jewish people” and another who had posted anti-Semitic homemade videos on social media.

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

MATCH INFO

Norwich City 0 Southampton 3 (Ings 49', Armstrong 54', Redmond 79')

LIVING IN...

This article is part of a guide on where to live in the UAE. Our reporters will profile some of the country’s most desirable districts, provide an estimate of rental prices and introduce you to some of the residents who call each area home.

Richard Jewell

Director: Clint Eastwood

Stars: Paul Walter Hauser, Sam Rockwell, Brandon Stanley

Two-and-a-half out of five stars 

The specs

Engine: 3.8-litre twin-turbo flat-six

Power: 650hp at 6,750rpm

Torque: 800Nm from 2,500-4,000rpm

Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch auto

Fuel consumption: 11.12L/100km

Price: From Dh796,600

On sale: now

The Boy and the Heron

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Starring: Soma Santoki, Masaki Suda, Ko Shibasaki

Rating: 5/5

Ruwais timeline

1971 Abu Dhabi National Oil Company established

1980 Ruwais Housing Complex built, located 10 kilometres away from industrial plants

1982 120,000 bpd capacity Ruwais refinery complex officially inaugurated by the founder of the UAE Sheikh Zayed

1984 Second phase of Ruwais Housing Complex built. Today the 7,000-unit complex houses some 24,000 people.  

1985 The refinery is expanded with the commissioning of a 27,000 b/d hydro cracker complex

2009 Plans announced to build $1.2 billion fertilizer plant in Ruwais, producing urea

2010 Adnoc awards $10bn contracts for expansion of Ruwais refinery, to double capacity from 415,000 bpd

2014 Ruwais 261-outlet shopping mall opens

2014 Production starts at newly expanded Ruwais refinery, providing jet fuel and diesel and allowing the UAE to be self-sufficient for petrol supplies

2014 Etihad Rail begins transportation of sulphur from Shah and Habshan to Ruwais for export

2017 Aldar Academies to operate Adnoc’s schools including in Ruwais from September. Eight schools operate in total within the housing complex.

2018 Adnoc announces plans to invest $3.1 billion on upgrading its Ruwais refinery 

2018 NMC Healthcare selected to manage operations of Ruwais Hospital

2018 Adnoc announces new downstream strategy at event in Abu Dhabi on May 13

Source: The National

Results

5pm Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 1,400m

Winner No Riesgo Al Maury, Szczepan Mazur (jockey), Ibrahim Al Hadhrami (trainer)

5.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 1,600m

Winner Marwa W’Rsan, Sam Hitchcott, Jaci Wickham.

6pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 1,600m

Winner Dahess D’Arabie, Al Moatasem Al Balushi, Helal Al Alawi.

6.30pm Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 2,200m

Winner Safin Al Reef, Connor Beasley, Abdallah Al Hammadi.

7pm Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap (PA) Dh70,000 2,200m

Winner Thulbaseera Al Jasra, Shakir Al Balushi, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami.

7.30pm Maiden (TB) Dh 80,000 2,200m

Winner Autumn Pride, Szczepan Mazur, Helal Al Alawi.

The specs

Engine: Single front-axle electric motor
Power: 218hp
Torque: 330Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 402km (claimed)
Price: From Dh215,000 (estimate)
On sale: September

Tips to avoid getting scammed

1) Beware of cheques presented late on Thursday

2) Visit an RTA centre to change registration only after receiving payment

3) Be aware of people asking to test drive the car alone

4) Try not to close the sale at night

5) Don't be rushed into a sale 

6) Call 901 if you see any suspicious behaviour


Abtal

Keep up with all the Middle East and North Africa athletes at the 2024 Paris Olympics

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      Abtal