Gaza's tunnels: A vital lifeline for Palestinians

An estimated 30 percent of all goods that reached the Gaza Strip were coming in through the tunnels at one point.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

A Palestinian worker ascends on a rope to leave a smuggling tunnel, that was flooded by Egyptian security forces, beneath the border between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip November 2, 2015.

Thousands of tunnels that link the Gaza Strip to Egypt have provided a vital lifeline to the 1.8 million Palestinians in Gaza who have been living under the Israeli-imposed blockade in 2007.

An estimated 30 percent of all goods that reach the enclave were coming in through the tunnels at one point. That allowed transports of building materials, medicine and food to continue to and from the small, coastal territory that is subject to blockade by both Israel and Egypt

According to some estimates, between 10,000 to 20,000 Palestinians were believed to be working in the tunnel "industry".

However, it shrank markedly after Israel and Egypt began targeting them.

TRT World’s Iolo ap Dafydd reports from Rafah, Egypt.