By Michelle Cohen
Friends of mine invited me over to their home for coffee. The husband's job is to deliver truckloads of products to the Gaza border. With his permission, I seized the opportunity to conduct a short interview for ISRAELI FRONTLINE.
IF: How long have you been delivering goods to the Gaza border?
Driver: I have been delivering for ten years; since 2002 during the first Intifada. There was a curfew at the time, and we had to deliver only to the border within a time limit.
IF: What sort of products do you deliver?
Driver: I deliver basic food products including flour and oil, but I also deliver candy. I deliver marble, granite, construction materials and home goods. I deliver a very wide range of products such as domestic appliances. I basically deliver everything necessary for daily living, and even products that are not necessary but are still in demand.
IF: In your opinion, would you say there is a shortage of goods delivered to Gaza, as many media outlets seem to suggest?
Driver: Gazans are richer than the people in Cairo. Egyptians complain because they cannot understand how Gazans get all the food they need for free. Most products are donated by the UNWFP (United Nations World Food Program). The UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) supplies much of the building supplies, but Hamas steals it. The reason we know this is because UNWRA employees in Gaza are locals and not strangers, as most people assume.
They just want to look poor and lacking because it is good for their global image.
IF: What quality products are being delivered, and how often.
Drive: There are daily deliveries. Not a weekday goes by without some sort of delivery. There are many drivers. The reason Israel must control Gaza is in order to monitor imports for safety reasons. The quality of products is good. Everything is new, (as opposed to used). Sometimes their products are better than ours in Israel. Today there is simply no shortage. They (Gazans) have everything they need.