August 18, 2010

Neues aus der Anstalt

AP berichtet über Schuttsammler auf dem Gelände des "Yassir Arafat International Airport" in Gaza, der lediglich von 1998 bis 2001 funktionsfähig war. Ein Auszug:

"The fate of Gaza's airport reflects the territory's decline over the last decade. At its festive opening in 1998, the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat flashed a victory sign from the runway as each of the first seven flights touched down. 'This is a preparation for the declaration of the Palestinian state,' he said at the time.
In the late 1990s, the $75 million facility had a Moroccan-themed passenger terminal, a VIP lounge and a runway long enough to receive all but the biggest jumbo jets.
Its last flight left in 2001, a year after the outbreak of the second Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation. Israeli forces later shelled the airport, positioned tanks inside and knocked down its outer wall and air control tower.
They have regularly bombed it since militants linked to Hamas captured an Israeli soldier in 2006, badly damaging the terminals and most of the runway.
Gaza looters — including women and children as young as 14 — have followed each step in its destruction, first hauling off doors, tiles, windows and air conditioners and now coming for the metal in the walls and gravel under the tarmac.
Gaza's other sites have been mostly picked clean, making the airport Gaza's final scavenging frontier, with the largest number of workers turning out there on any given day.
Last month, the U.N. prevented scavenging at the site for about two weeks to prepare for an event at which more than 7,000 children simultaneously dribbled basketballs on an intact part of runway in an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records.
After the event, the workers dug up that strip too, leaving behind a vast field of broken chunks of asphalt.
Seeking refuge from the midday sun under a destroyed terminal on Monday, Rami Abu Warda, 23, and a group of other workers calculated their profits.
After subtracting their costs for transportation and equipment rental, Abu Warda handed each man his share: just under $15.
'This is a blessing from God,' he said, slipping his cut into his wallet."
(ich unterstreiche)

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