I’m hoping my story will be posted on this website.

The Gaza Strip is the only spot in the world where the people do not control their own borders.

The occupied Palestinian territories (OPT) include the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.  No one enters or leaves the OPT without permission of Israel (the occupier).  Israel controls the airspace over Gaza, the sea adjacent to Gaza, and each of the six land crossings. Only two of these crossings are for people, Erez in the north and Rafah in the south.  
Since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel has blockaded the small enclave, tightly monitoring what goods and supplies enter, even keeping the Palestinians on a diet. An Israeli government adviser has been widely quoted: “The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger.”
I tried unsuccessfully to enter Gaza in August 2011 but was turned away at the Rafah border by the Egyptian guards.  I tried again in September 2012, this time with written permission from the Egyptian Intelligence office, and I was welcomed with open arms by my Palestinian friends.
When I left the Gaza enclave at the end of December for a short visit to Cairo, I was again refused permission to cross the Rafah border in January 2013.  I spent the next two months talking to EgyptianAmerican andPalestinian officials and finally received permission to enter Gaza in early March.
The world needs to know about this “open air prison” and the collusion between Israel, Egypt and the U.S. to imprison 1.7 million men, women and children.  We should be horrified when Israeli soldiers board a humanitarian ship in international waters headed to Gaza and kill 9 passengers.  We should be horrified when Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian fishermen.  We should be horrified when Israeli soldiers kill farmers at the border.  We should be horrified by Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip, reported to be the most densely-populated spot on the planet.
Israel must be held accountable for these crimes and the people of the world need to wake up.  The largest open air prison is a crime against humanity.

1 Comment

Filed under Egypt, Gaza, Hamas, Israel, Israel Defense Forces

One response to “Borders

  1. Lori Rudolph

    I appreciate your post but I am a bit confused. Did you mean to say all of the OPT, which includes the West Bank? You stated in the beginning that Gaza is the only spot in the world but I believe you meant to include the West Bank in this comment as well. Is this correct? Thanks

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