Gaza Tire Shortage Hits Drivers, Rioters have Plenty

It is harder and more expensive for individuals and businesses to purchase tires for their cars in Gaza, while rioters have a “seemingly endless supply” of old tires to burn, The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

Since the beginning of the so-called “March of Return,” rioters at the violent Hamas-led protests have burned thousands of tires “using the thick black smoke to obscure the vision of Israeli snipers as they hurl rocks, firebombs and grenades toward IDF soldiers,” the Times reported.

Following the use of tires in the riots, Israel has banned the import of tires into Gaza leading to a shortage for drivers.

Rushdi al-Khour, head of the Gaza association of spare parts dealers, said that the price of tires has spiked from $120 to $300 since Israel was forced to ban their importation into Gaza. Fifteen distributors have lost as much as $2 million so far, al-Khour said, as a result of orders from Israeli suppliers and storage fees for inventory that is being held at Israeli border crossings.

In April, during the second week of riots, Hamas ordered rioters to gather thousands of tires to burn, creating clouds of smoke to mask the movement of potential infiltrators at the border.

The call to burn such a massive quantity of tires prompted Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to warn the World Health Organization that Hamas was intent on creating an “ecological catastrophe.”

In a letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the head of COGAT, wrote, “This is a serious environmental issue that will harm the health of the residents and will cause unprecedented air pollution.” Mordechai called on WHO to “do everything in your power to publicly warn against this ecological catastrophe and to protest Hamas’ irresponsible behavior.”

The tire shortage in Gaza comes as the violent rioters seek other ways to attack Israel.

A kindergarten in southern Israel had to be evacuated on Thursday, when a suspicious object — later determined to be an incendiary device apparently flown into Israel from Gaza — was found on its playground.

A security jeep in Kibbutz Alumim, located 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Gaza border, was set on fire by an incendiary device launched from Gaza.

Also on Thursday, Hamas’s so-called military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, announced that one of its members had been martyred in an “accidental explosion.”

Daoud Jneid, according to a statement issued by the Qassam Brigades,  “was martyred in an accidental explosion.” The explosion reportedly occurred at a location controlled by an unidentified armed group.

“He passed away on the path of struggle and resistance and in the field of honor and might,” the statement from the Qassam Brigades added.

[Photo: AP Archive / YouTube ]