Wherever you live, buying a car – new or used – holds its share of challenges. But for the residents of the embattled Gaza Strip, geopolitical issues have made buying a car all but completely impossible. That is, until today, when a shipment of 20 new and used cars arrived by truck for first time since 2007.

The freeze has been in effect since the Palestinians elected the militant anti-Israel terrorist organization Hamas to their parliament. Following the elections and the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit (who still remains in captivity four years later), Hamas seized control of the coastal strip and kicked out the established Palestinian Authority, prompting the implementation of sanctions and a tightening of the borders by neighboring Israel and Egypt.

The Palestinian Authority, governed by the secularist Fatah party of chairman Mahmoud Abbas, still controls the disputed West Bank territories of Judea and Samaria, as well as border control along the Gaza Strip. Israel has been easing sanctions as a good will gesture as part of currently ongoing peace talks with Abbas.

The new shipment consisted primarily of new and used Hyundai and Kia models arriving via the Kerem Shalom border crossing named after the local agricultural commune, but which Palestinians call Kerem Abu Salem. With no local car industry, many of the cars in the Palestinian-controlled territories are stolen from Israel proper. Thanks to Brady for the tip.

[Source: BBC News | Image: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty]


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