Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FEATURE-"Falafel fuel" powers cars in petrol-starved Gaza


Falafel

There seems no end to what the Palestinians have to endure. And this man is probably ruining his car for the sake of feeding his children.

Besides that, he's constantly feeling hungry for falafel.
When Hassan Amin al-Bana gingerly steps on the gas pedal of his bright yellow taxi, a strange smell wafts from the exhaust: deep-fried fast food.

Faced with chronic fuel shortages due to an Israeli blockade and a strike by Palestinian distributors protesting supply caps, taxi drivers in the Gaza Strip are filling their tanks with cooking oil, often scrounging leftover fat from street vendors.

"It's not like driving with diesel -- it takes time to get it going in the morning," said Bana, 40, at Gaza City's main taxi stand. "I know it's bad for my car, but I have to pay for food for my kids so what can I do?"

The pumps at Gaza's petrol stations have been deserted for several weeks but brightly-coloured cartons of soya bean cooking oil, some smuggled from Egypt, are piled high at the taxi rank in the impoverished territory's main city.
The headline links to the source.

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