Stuck In Gaza

Sometimes I feel curious about certain historical events; it came to my mind to search about the longest blockade in history, the information tell that the siege of Heraklion ( city in Greece) is the longest as it lasted 21 years. Some historians determined this point according to the kind of siege as there is a theory divided the siege into direct siege and indirect siege. Hence they  considered the longest siege is the Israeli siege for Palestine depending on considering it indirect siege, as the Israeli side controls the internal and external movement of the Palestinian people since 1948, so it is a 68 years siege and it is still remain up to date.

Now Gaza city in particular in a blockade condition since 2007 up to date, which is according to modern history specialists, political analysts and humanitarian considerations is the longest.

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In April 2014 it was published in news that Israel’s seven-year blockade of the Gaza Strip is the “longest in history,” according to the newly-appointed United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl.

The main goal of this blockade was to punish Gaza or to be exact to punish Hamas party for controlling Gaza city not taking in consideration that Gaza people are not all Hamas members, but it doesn’t matter as Israel considered Gaza people as ” Hamas’s victims”.

Living in a blockade condition is not an easy thing for any people indeed, as there is an apparent suffer in all fields of the daily life and there is always a mass shortage in people’s needs.

Lately I’ve received messages from two different persons; one is an Arab and the second was European, they asked about the situation in Gaza and ended their speeches by asking ” why don’t you just travel from Gaza?” . This question stopped me to write this article and made the previous detailed introduction to clear this point. Almost all news websites write many details about the condition of Gaza, but it is clear that it is still ambiguous for many people too.

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Diagram shows Gaza Strip crossings and their use

To travel from or to Gaza for me is the most oppressive and exhausting thing you might experience ever. There are two borders for travelers; the Egyptian borders “Rafah crossing” which open every months for only three or four days and sometimes it is just ” closed until further notice” and the borders with Israel “Erez crossing” which opens almost permanently, but only certain people can get permission to go through it such as sick people, businessmen, foreigners with international organizations, journalists and students having visas to study outside Gaza.

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Palestinian passing through Erez crossing
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Palestinian passing through Erez crossing

To go through Rafah borders you have to register your name and to be put on the waiting list knowing that you may wait for years. There are rules too in order to register as you must be a student having a visa and register in a university outside Gaza, sick in a need for receiving treatment outside, have residency in another country, have a non-Palestinian passport, other urgent needs and no place luxuries for example traveling for tourism reasons. To be honest, sometimes you must bribe someone here in Gaza or in the Egyptian side  in order to ease your pass.

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Palestinians waiting to pass through Rafah borders
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Palestinians waiting to pass through Rafah borders

And therefore, we are just stuck in Gaza until a political miracle takes place.

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