As we all know, the Gaza Strip is under siege since almost ten years. Israel is banning Palestinians from travelling through its crossings to the West Bank and the rest of the world. Egypt from the other side, is not opening the Rafah Crossing as it should, which leaves the Gazans unable to travel except according to the “good will” and decisions of the Egyptian government.
Recently, the Israeli occupation authorities, announced that it will be more “nice” with the citizens of Gaza, and that it will allow them to travel through its crossings to the West Bank and then through the Allenby crossing to Jordan and consequently to the rest of the world.
Only one hundred Palestinians can travel per week, and should be for either treatment in outside hospitals, for studying abroad, or for special or private meetings or visits. For those who are going to study, this might be OK, but if I want to go for treatment or for visit or meeting, why should I be forced to stay 12 months, why in heavens sake should I stay abroad for one year. Movement and free of movement is one of the basic rights according to international law and agreements.
Allowing the Palestinians to travel from the besieged Strip, is a “nice” thing, a good headline for the news, good propaganda for an occupation authority, but the details are not clear for so many people not only the outsiders, but even to many Palestinians here in Palestine. In this step, the occupation is a brutal and an inhuman authority, because this permission is stipulated by hard conditions, and people may not be allowed to return back home if the occupation authorities decide so.
One of the very hard conditions is that any one wants to leave , he can’t return before one year, and will not be able to return, except after a very complicated “security check” , which gives these authorities the justification to ban any one from returning to his homeland under the so called “security reason”.
The Gaza Strip is part of Palestine, but its citizens are not allowed to live in the West bank, they are not allowed to visit the other part of their own country (the West Bank) except by a permission “which is very difficult to get” from the occupation authorities.
Students from Gaza are not allowed to come and study in the universities of the West Bank. All of this happens, and still, unfortunately, while many people in the West believe that “Israel is the only democracy in the region”.
By: Rashid Shahin.