Egypt has intensified a crackdown on smuggling tunnels between its volatile Sinai desert and the Gaza Strip, causing a steep hike in petrol and cement prices in the Palestinian territory.
Like everyone else, I used to divide the prostitutes smuggled into Israel from the former Soviet republics into two categories -- the good ones who were tricked into it, and the bad ones who knew what they were getting into.
I think differently now. After meeting one of the "bad" ones for a story I'm doing, I see them all, both the knowing and unknowing, as victims, as innocents.
If Israel pulls its troops out of Gaza, how can Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon be sure that Hamas won't seize power in the ensuing chaos?
A time for peace and a time for war. Most talk, for years, has been about peace, but there's war talk in Israel now. At least one independent intelligence agency is predicting a regional war this spring, and nobody is offering credible deniability. The Palestinians have been smuggling weapons into the country -- mortars, anti-tank weapons, heavy machine guns, who knows what else. The stuff comes into Gaza through tunnels from Egypt or sneaked past Israeli naval patrols along the coast. It's not Jordan they're gunning for, at least not to start.