by Avi Melamed
On October 7, 2012 the Estelle (boat) left Naples, Italy heading for the Gaza Strip.
Reportedly, the boat is carrying goods for the people of Gaza like games, musical instruments, cement, etc. The organizers announced that their goal is to draw the world’s attention to the suffering of the people in the Gaza Strip caused by the Israeli siege.
On many occasions, both in briefings as well as in articles, I have discussed everyday life in the Gaza Strip. Each time I talk about this issue I emphasize the following:
Many people in Gaza struggle economically. However, the narrative of the “humanitarian crisis” and the “suffering of the people of Gaza” (caused by the Israeli siege) that is so deeply rooted in international public opinion, does not accurately or fairly reflect the reality.
There was an article published on the Arab television network, Al Arabiya’s website on October 16th that I believe should be brought to the attention of the aid organizers and I truly hope will impact international public opinion:
“iPhone 5″ is a “Hot Item” in The Gaza Strip” (the article is in Arabic but any translation mechanism on your computer should give you a good translation of this piece). According to the article the iPhone 5 (not yet available in Israel) is sold in the Gaza Strip for between $1100 and $1500. However, it seems that the price is not an obstacle. iPhone dealers in Gaza report that the demand is huge and as soon as stores receive a shipment they sell out in the same day. The iPhone, available at malls and stores throughout the Gaza Strip, is just the latest luxury product to be smuggled into Gaza through the tunnels from Egypt (Mercedes Benz is another big seller), and demand is brisk – sales are going so well that iPhone dealers are actually reducing their mark-up.
Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and Hamas controls the tunnels. The Hamas government employs some 20,000 massively armed forces. These photos are taken from a recent Hamas Military Parade in the streets of the Gaza Strip. For more information on the tunnels please read Hamas’ Kingdom of Crime.
As you know, my information is primarily based on and supported by Arab sources (including sources in Gaza) and I always provide the access to these sources…