Daily Management Review

Gaza: A Free Nation Yet A Prison


Life takes a bitter turn in Gaza as the Palestinians find themselves trapped, although sky is their limits on one side; their borders define their limitations on the other side.

Gaza: A Free Nation Yet A Prison
Rafah, Gaza – 09 July 2015 – Rafah border is the only entry and exit point for the Gaza Strip, therefore the habitants of Rafah coastal region feel that they are trapped in a “big prison”.  The Egyptians and Israelis are in total control of the “sole exit” and “entry point”, whereby one can cross into the Gaza Strip. Moreover, the control point is under tight security and is mostly remains “shut tight”
The Channelnewsasia reports about Areej Saqer, whose family is from the Strip of Gaza. It has been sometimes now that she is “struggling” to depart from the country. Even though, her family originally is from Gaza, she has been brought up in the U.A.E or the United Arab Emirates. However, she had returned to Gaza for completing her studies in “medical optics”. Having graduated from said field, now she wants to “return to the UAE”.
Nevertheless, Saquer is facing a lot of complications regarding “crossing the Gaza-Egypt border”, whereby she says:
"I left my sister who was afraid to leave. The crossing can close at any time and she will lose her place in the university if she’s unable to return. I wish to travel from Gaza, which for me is a big prison.”
Furthermore, she adds:
“All my friends abroad can travel at any moment; but it can be difficult and desperate for me. I want to see my family. I miss them.”
Sadly enough coming out of the Gazan soil “is not so easy” for Arjeej as well as other Palestinians like her. The two gateways, namely “Beit Hanoun and Karem Abu Salem”, which is situated between the Egypt and Gaza border is a very crucial point which is in total control of the people going in and out of Palestine. However, the gateways are placed “out of limits” of the Palestinian borders.
Owing to the collapse of Hamas’ Mohammed Morsi’s government in the month of July 2013, the government of Egypt installed more army to ‘increase’ “its crackdown against the Islamists”. The government of Mohammed Morsi was a friendly neighbouring government and after its disintegration, there is a “growing tension with Hamas” which results in a often shut down of the Rafah border crossing’s gateways, which are presently under the control of the Egyptian government.
However, there are wondering speculations of improving the relations between both the countries, as a recent court verdict given out of the Egypt, declared Hamas as “no longer” “a terrorist organisation”; although nothing has taken a y shape. Gaza has been facing “Israeli blockade” for more than “eight years” now, during which period Egypt also closed its “border with Gaza” most of the times. After these unpleasant years the “recent opening of the Rafah crossing” comes as a breath of “goodwill” and kindles hope in thousands of hearts that all can be restored to normalcy.
The terminal at Rafah was opened “only six times this year”, during these windows of opportunities almost “15000 people” left Palestine. Moreover it is reported that:
“...thousands more are on a waiting list.”
Waleed Thabet is one such person on the list, who needs to pay an urgent visit to Egypt for his wife’s operation. He had to wait for three years to apply for a permission of crossing the Rafah border; whereas, given no such barrier, travelling by road to Cairo from Gaza is a matter of only twenty four hours. Yet, the couple “are stuck inside Gaza”. He complains that:
“The suffering is here, not the crossing. We have been here since 6am. Others came at around 4 or 5am, while the offices open at 9am.”
As per the political comments, this extreme situation is the result of “isolation, frustration and desperation”; consequently, patients are unable to avail required treatment, students fail to attend their universities abroad and traders are being limited to the Strip of Gaza. In fact, in Asaad Abu Sharkh’s words:
“Life in Gaza is described in one statement: Life in death and death in life. Some sort of a wasteland and land of waste.”
The government of Israel and Egypt may justify their action as “security concerns” but in reality Gaza has turned into “the world's largest open air prison”.