English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips> Audio & Video> 新闻播报> Normal Speed News VOA常速

Goods flow into Gaza despite Israeli blockade

[ 2010-06-17 11:01]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009

Goods flow into Gaza despite Israeli blockade

In one of Gaza's markets, there are few signs that a blockade even exists.

There are vegetables, meat, eggs. The basics are all here, as are imported snacks from the United States and Europe. Cigarettes are here too even though they are among the goods that are banned under the Israeli and Egyptian blockade.

Goods flow into Gaza despite Israeli blockade

Many of the items come from Egypt through smuggling tunnels sanctioned by Hamas. The group's violent takeover of Gaza in 2007 prompted Israel to impose the blockade. The kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and continued rocket attacks from Gaza have kept Israel from lifting it.

Aside from keeping weapons out of the Gaza Strip, one of Israel's goals in mounting the blockade was to pressure Gazans to topple Hamas. Although Israel says the blockade is essential for its national security, scenes like this have some in Israel questioning whether the closure has worked.

Ashraf al-Koumi's family has owned this market stall for years. He says he has plenty of produce to sell, but few can afford to buy.

"There is food and drink. But there is no work," he said. "We have a high percentage of unemployment. A high number of workers are sitting in their houses, not working. There is no money for a person to buy the daily food for his children."

The loss of jobs and business opportunities has perhaps been more damaging than the restriction on imports, especially for those who - under the blockade - cannot cross into Israel.

Majda Zarouk used to depend on the salary that her husband, an electrician, brought from his job in Israel. That was before the blockade. Now she - and thousands of Gazans - depend on the United Nations - and Hamas - for subsistence.

"UNRWA is helping us," she said. "I remember the first days of the closure when we had no flour, the U.N. gave us flour and food. Thank God, the UN is helping us so much and also Hamas is helping by keeping the tunnels open."

Hamas keeps tight control in the once lawless enclave. Many Gazans say they feel safer from street crime.

Although Israel bans cement from entering, to keep Hamas from building bunkers, streets are being repaired, and some public works projects are proceeding.

This plant turns debris from buildings - many destroyed by Israeli air strikes - into sand and gravel that is then turned into cinder blocks for building.

Gazans appear to be coping. Shalit is still captive, rockets are still falling on Israel, and Hamas remains firmly in power.

Ashraf al-Koumi says for him, Hamas has delivered. "The only one who supports us is this government, our government," he said. "They are letting the products through the tunnels. Everything comes through the tunnels. If there are no tunnels, there is no life."

For Hamas leaders, this is, in some ways, a bigger victory than persuading Israel to lift its restriction on goods entering the territory.

subsistence: the state of having just enough money or food to stay alive 勉强维持生活

enclave: an area of a country or city where the people have a different religion, culture or nationality from those who live in the country or city that surrounds it 飞地(某国或某市境内隶属外国或外市,具有不同宗教、文化或民族的领土)

bunker: a strongly built shelter for soldiers or guns, usually underground 地堡

Related stories:

US consults allies about Gaza blockade

Four killed by Israeli sea patrol

Outrage mounts over Israeli raid

10 dead in Israeli raid

(来源:VOA 编辑:陈丹妮)