Jerusalem – The Middle East Newsline confirms that the Hamas regime has approved a huge increase in the number of smuggling tunnels from the Gaza Strip to neighboring Egypt.

Palestinian sources said tunnels that span the Gaza Strip to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula have more than doubled this year.

They cited the Israeli and Egyptian closure of their borders as well as increasing Gazan demand for consumer goods.

“We can get anything for anybody at almost any time,” a Palestinian source said.

The Hamas regime approved the sharp increase of tunnels in wake of the war with Israel in January. They said the number of tunnels skyrocketed from about 700 to 1,500 over the last eight months.

“Hamas directly controls about 100 tunnels and this supplies the government and security forces,” the Palestinian source said. “Whenever they need something fast, they turn to private tunnel operators.”

In August, tunnel operators began smuggling luxury cars from Egypt to Gaza. Over the last two months, the sources said, about 100 late model cars were dismantled in Egypt, transported through the tunnels in parts and reassembled in the Gaza Strip. The price per car was reported at $20,000.

Tunnels are a part of the smuggling industry, the largest industry in the Gaza Strip.

About 30,000 people are employed in the smuggling industry, with diggers earning about $30 day.

The number of tunnels discovered and destroyed by Egypt or Israel marked less than one percent of the smuggling network.


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.