Gaza closure sends prices soaring, smugglers say

AP News
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Posted: Aug 08, 2012 7:11 AM
Gaza closure sends prices soaring, smugglers say

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Gazans say the sealing of their territory following a weekend attack by Islamic militants on the Egypt-Israel border has sent prices soaring and is leaving hundreds of medical patients stranded.

Egypt says the attackers who killed 16 Egyptian soldiers had help from Gaza. In response, Egypt closed its border crossing and shut down hundreds of smuggling tunnels.

The tunnels deliver key goods to Gaza that Israel — which controls its other borders — won't allow in, including construction materials. A tunnel owner who only gave a nickname, Abu Hamam, because of the illegal nature of his business said Tuesday that their price has shot up 40 to 60 percent since the weekend.

A Gaza health official says hundreds of patients are waiting to go to Egypt for medical treatment.