Palestinians, Egyptians cheat one another in Rafah

Tuesday, January 29, 2008 |  by Staff Writer  

Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper reported on Tuesday that, far from providing real relief to the residents of Gaza, the breach of the Gaza-Egypt border last week provided an opportunity for Palestinians and Egyptians to cheat one another.

According to the newspaper, many of the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who poured across the border into Egypt to buy non-essential goods that Israel has placed an embargo on used counterfeit Israeli money to make their purchases.

Phony Israeli currency has reportedly been printed in Gaza since Israel withdrew from the territory in 2005.

But the Egyptians also failed to play fair, reportedly selling food and other perishable goods to the Palestinians that were past their expiration dates.

Meanwhile, Egyptian Bedouins on Monday violently confronted and turned away Palestinian shoppers. Bedouins interviewed by Reuters complained that the Palestinians had exhausted nearly all supplies in the border town of Rafah, and had driven up the prices on remaining goods to a level that local Egyptians can no longer afford.

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