Friday, May 13, 2016

Opening of Rafah Border after 85 days!

The people of the Gaza strip have got only two gates to use for traveling abroad. One of the gates is controlled by Israel that has been placing a highly strict siege on Gaza for 10 years now. The Israelis put very strict criteria to issue people permits to leave Gaza through its Erez crossing. These criteria are only related to people with humanitarian cases. Other people such as students and many patients have no other way out except via the Rafah Border with Egypt. This border has been completely shut by the Egyptian authorities since the winning of Mursi in the presidential elections. Just only yesterday, the authorities in Egypt have announced their intention to open the boarder for the first time since 85 days and it will only be open for two days. Many people who have urgent reasons for travel have felt very happy when hearing the news about the reopening of the border and started packing their bags for travel. However, not all of them were allowed to travel. The difficulties and suffering of people have reached to the level that some of them were even asked to pay monetary bribes to Egyptian officials in order to allow them to travel. Some people had no other option but to pay such bribes which sometimes reached 1000 - 4000 USD. People coming from poor and vulnerable backgrounds were not able to pay such large amounts of money and therefore denied access via the border. The below picture shows some people shouting at the Egyptians just as a protest of their rejection of the ways they are being treated on the boarder. Many of them have even organized protests in front of the headquarters of international human rights organizations as an attempt to raise their voice and spread the word of their suffering to the whole world.  

Gaza crossing briefly opened by Egypt, but even cancer patients remain caged

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