Friday, January 9, 2009

Gaza Tunnels - Inside the Hamas Run Tunnel System from Gaza to Egypt

Zoriah_gaza_tunnel_tunnels_egypt_rocket_jihad_hamas_rafah__20080812_8724© Zoriah/

A man works in confined spaces underground in a tunnel leading from Rafah to Egypt

Zoriah Miller

Until last week, an intricate tunnel system ran beneath Gaza’s southern border, linking the city of Rafah to Egypt. These tunnels were a lifeline for Gaza, running everything from food, fuel, medicine and commercial goods to weapons for Hamas and other militant groups. In a country with closed borders, it was their only way to import what they needed.

In the last week, Israeli air assaults on Gaza have dealt a crippling blow to the tunnel system, destroying most and making those that do remain impossible to pass. On the Egyptian side, the military is out in force making sure that no one passing through any tunnels that may have survived the attacks.

In August I was granted access to descend into and photograph a Hamas tunnel system, something that few local journalists, much less foreign press are allowed to see or document. Palestinians risk their lives working in the tunnels both for monetary reward and basic survival, so for me it was interesting to document the risks they take in order to dig and operate these tunnels. They have always been a risky operation and many people have lost their lives. Three people died in a tunnel collapse the day before I arrived to shoot this story and the tunnel I was supposed to visit collapsed on my trip down to Rafah from Gaza City.

Gaza Hamas Tunnels In Harms Way - Zoriah War Photographer

© Zoriah/

A 30m (100 feet) shaft leading to a Hamas run tunnel linking Gaza to Egypt

Zoriah_gaza_tunnel_tunnels_egypt_rocket_jihad_hamas_rafah__20080812_8690© Zoriah/

A Palestinian worker prepares a plastic sled that will be pulled by a winch to Egypt, loaded with goods and sent back to Rafah

more photos at the source:

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