Monday, December 08, 2008

What's up, Gaza?

We often hear about the violent side of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict because that's more sensational, but we're subjected to much less about normal, day to day life there. So what's normalcy in Gaza right now?
Smuggled through tunnels from Egypt, sheep were not selling well in a Gaza market on the eve of a Muslim holiday in which the animals are slaughtered and their meat is donated to the poor.

'People here are just watching one another and nobody is buying,' complained sheep merchant Omar Fuji. 'The prices are higher because we had to pay a $100 fee to the tunneller on every sheep that came through.'

And why aren't Palestinians buying the sheep?
'It is a difficult Eid [holiday]. There are no salaries, no cash at banks. Electricity is cut most of the day,' said Ezzel-Deen Abu Amira, a 42-year-old civil engineer.

Some 77,000 Gaza employees have not received their November pay and banks have been shut since Thursday because they do not have enough money to operate. Israel cut off imports of cash and other goods this month as cross-border violence rose.

And thus we see normal, day to day life in the Gaza Strip. Some people call news like this anti-semitic; others call it "context".

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