Sunday, January 18, 2009

Rafah Tunnel

Inilah tembok yang membelah kota Rafah menjadi dua bagian, Mesir dan Palestina. Tembok besar tersebut dibangun oleh Israel dengan dalih mengamankan wilayah jalur gaza dari selundupan senjata dan obat-obat terlarang. Dengan dibangunnya tembok tersebut, lengkap sudah blokade Israel terhadap jalur gaza; jalur darat, udara dan laut. Suplai makanan, obat-obatan dan berbagai kebutuhan pokok lainnya menjadi lebih sulit. Tembok tersebut juga memisahkan banyak keluarga dan saudara di kota Rafah. Penderitaan lainnya dari dibangunya tembok tersebut adalah penggusuran rumah-rumah warga palestina. Rumah mereka digusur untuk dijadikan lahan bagi tembok tersebut. Kemiskinan pun menjadi-jadi di jalur gaza.
Untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidup, banyak warga yang melakukan penggalian terowongan-terowongan menuju Rafah Mesir. Terowongan tersebut digunakan untuk menyelundupkan berbagai barang. Pihak Israel mengklain bahwa terowongan tersebut digunakan untuk menyelundupkan senjata.
Menjadi pekerja di terowongan Rafah tentunya sangat berbahaya. Seringkali militer Israel membunuh para perkerja terowongan tersebut. Lihatlah potret perjuanganan para pekerja terowongan Rafah pada foto-foto berikut.

Since September 2000, the smuggling tunnels has functioned as an import of a significant amount of basic supplies ,including medicine, food, clothes, auto-spare-parts, medical equipment, electronic items, foreign currency, cigarettes and weapons.
The Palestinians still have to rely on smuggled victualled from Egypt, food, medicine and other basic supplies through the underground tunnels, the life-nerves, which are stretching from Gaza Strip to the inside of the Egyptian border. The smuggling tunnel featured in our reportage, was built 8 years ago,in the beginning of the second Palestinian Intifada, the cost of building this tunnel is estimated to over $50.000. While working in this environment, in the cold, sometimes trapped, suffocating under water or collapsing walls of dirt and concrete,82 people have died. It took three months to finish a hard and dangerous, 24 hours make shift work.
The excavation of smuggling tunnels in the Rafah area began in 1982, subsequent to the division of the Rafah city between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. The average smuggling tunnel is approximately 500 meters in length, and 20 to 25 meters deep.The tunnels may be equipped with wood-paneling, electrical infrastructure, communications gear, and rudimentary elevators in vertical shaft, to transport people or the freight of goods.The openings of the tunnels are often located within private Egyptian homes or other buildings, near or next to the border with Egypt.

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