Interesting article in the NY Times on September 19. Titled "Isolation of Gaza Chokes Off Trade" by Steven Erlanger. Here's the link: www.nytimes.com/2007/09/19/world/middleeast/19gaza.html An interesting comment in the article "?Hamas wants to control any arms or explosives that come into Gaza now, it?s very simple,? he said. ?Hamas is cracking down, because they?re afraid we?ll sell to Fatah.??But there?s no business at all now,? Muhammad said, except in one commodity: nitrate, prized both for explosives and fertilizer. Hamas is trying to control nitrate imports, too, while taking a cut for allowing the business. ?Fatah demanded bribes,? he said. ?Hamas doesn?t ask for money, but for nitrate,? taking a third of a shipment. Hamas then sells small amounts to other militant groups, like Islamic Jihad, Muhammad said. Hamas says it refuses to stop other groups from carrying out ?resistance? against Israel and the Israeli occupation, largely through Qassam rocket fire. ?But Hamas tells us not to sell to Islamic Jihad,? Muhammad said. ?They try to keep them on a quota to have more control over them.?
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