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yes the blockade sucks, Hamas sucks, it all sucks. But see how industrious Palestinians manage: the tunnel network. Sum o' dese tunnels is big n' wide, like a fat dudes suits, except even bigger and wider. Anyways, all kinds of items are getting into Gaza, the most popular being motorcycles....

Yet one aspect of life in Gaza was quick to return to business as usual: the vast network of underground smuggling tunnels which provide a lifeline to the 1.5 million people in the war-torn territory.

Despite Israel’s heavy air attacks, hundreds of tunnels continue to operate and thousands of dollars worth of food, clothes, machinery, and weapons arrive each day from Egypt. They are also bringing a new ride to Gaza’s streets: motorbikes.

Only the most basic supplies can now enter, so new cars and supplies of alternators, transmissions, rims, or fuel pumps has steadily dwindled. This has made motorbikes – smuggled hundreds at a time through the largest tunnels running between Egypt and Rafah – a hot commodity on the streets.

Gaza’s authorities believe at least 8,000 motorbikes regularly weave their way between cars, trucks, and donkey-drawn carts in the strip of land which is just 25 miles long and between three and seven miles wide. What started as a slow trickle of Hondas, Dayuns and Katanas has become a torrent in the past 12 months as the effects of the blockade intensified.

One question: if they can smuggle thousands of motorbnikes into Gaza, why can't someone bring in transmissions, rims and fuel pumps? Just askin'.

On a Friday afternoon, hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts gather on the sand dunes once home to the Israeli settlement of Gush Katif. The riders show off their skills: revving their engines and speeding down one dune then up another to perform small jumps, wheelies, and the occasional crash landing.

This is more fun than driving a car, and we just come here to have fun, said 32-year-old Jaser Abu Jazar, who works as a trader bringing the bikes through the tunnels on demand.

And here we've got the beginnings of the Gaza X Games. These are the stories I love to read about. Palestinians having fun amidst a bad situation. Humans find ways of coping, expressing themselves, and yes, having fun in the worst of times. Nice job to these and the other industrious smugglers bringing in much needed goods.

Of course Hamas has their own network of tunnels which they operate that bring in all sorts of nefarious explosives items, and prolly millions in cash too.

But for now I like the story of these dudes biking on Gazan sand dunes. Rock n' Roll dudes!


Originally posted to Keith Moon on Wed Jul 08, 2009 at 01:36 PM PDT.

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