May 17 - KFC meals are being ordered from Egypt and delivered via smuggling tunnels to the besieged Gaza Strip. Lily Grimes reports.
A van load of Kentucky Fried Chicken might not be an unusual sight in most cities, but here in Gaza this is something of a special delivery. These meals cost about 30 U.S. dollars each and they've travelled 35 miles, over ground and underground. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) OWNER OF ALYAMAMA DELIVERY COMPANY, KHALIL AL FRANGI, SAYING: "We place an order with the restaurant in El Areesh in Egypt one day in advance. They prepare the order and we agree on a price. We then send a taxi from Rafah, the driver picks up the order and pays for it then takes the delivery to one of the tunnels at the border. We have a car waiting on this side of the tunnel to pick up the goods and distribute them." But things can get complicated. The Colonel's chicken can be held up for hours at the Hamas-controlled tunnels as paperwork is examined by tunnel committees. Hamas, the Islamist group that rules Gaza and promotes self-sustainability despite six years of Israeli border restrictions, is not too happy about the food coming in. But as with other goods, such as vehicles and weapons, they are regulating the deliveries and collecting tax. A 30 dollar take-away is beyond the budget of many in the Gaza Strip but the smugglers' booty is a real treat for this young girl.