Bedouin Smuggling Case Study

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An important security question to note is the Bedouin smuggling activities along the Sinai border with Egypt. Though their movement in Israel is restricted by checkpoints and ID card checks are regular the smuggling business across the Sinai border is extensive. This is because of many factors, the biggest being Bedouin culture. Historically the Bedouin have never respected state borders, they did not believe the borders applied to them. Since the early 1900s, when the borders of states in the region drastically changed, the Bedouin have taken advantage of this uncertainty by smuggling. They are known for their excellent tracking ability, service for Bedouin in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is not mandatory, though many volunteer. The Bedouin are known for their outstanding service, mostly in the special tracking units. But these tracking abilities also make them very capable smugglers (Gleis 1). Also, the border of the Sinai has split Bedouin tribes and families down the center, this provides automatic, loyal partners in both Israel and Egypt. The most notable tribes involved in the business are the Sawarka and Rumaylat in the Gaza strip and the Tarabin, Ahayw’at, ‘Azazma, Tayaha, and Hanajra in the south (Gleis 1). The best areas to cross the border …show more content…
There is simply no work, so many turn to smuggling instead. In small communities like the unrecognized village of Bir Hadaj about 60% of the village is involved in the smuggling industry. In an interview with the Jewish newspaper, Haaretz, an anonymous resident spoke about his eldest son, “"What does a young man want? He needs money to buy a cell phone, to buy a car. And what are his alternatives here? There is no work for the young here, there is no road here, there is barely a school. The most readily available job, the most lucrative, is in smuggling. But I did not allow him to do this," (Stern

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