Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Inside Gaza: An Arms Dealer's Tale

July 30, 2007 - It is not a fact that he particularly likes to advertise, but, if pressed, Abdel Hamid Bahar will acknowledge that his business is at its best when people are dying. Last Sunday I went to see the black-market arms dealer at his home, a squat, dilapidated structure made of cinderblocks and tin sheeting, in the central Gaza village of Moghraga. We sat on pink plastic chairs in the shade, next to a slightly sickly garden with a couple of banana plants and a slender olive tree. The weapons merchant's business varies widely, of course, depending on how much fighting is going on. Last summer, when Gaza was at war with Israel after the kidnapping of Gilad Schalit, Bahar was pulling in almost $3,000 per month, more than most Gazans earn in a year. How is business now, I asked, with Hamas in power and the streets relatively calm? "Zero," the gun dealer complained, without bothering to hide his frustration.

Read more .....

No comments: