The remote-controlled occupation
WELL, just when I though it was all over, here I am, stuck once again in the cozy disengaged confines of Gaza city. I wish I could say in the confines of "Gaza Strip" but then I'd be lying--Israel has split Gaza into two parts, closing off the Abo Holi checkpoint in Central Gaza to all Palestinian movement, and today announced the indefinite closure of Rafah crossing, the only route to the outside world for me and and Yousuf and 1.4 million others.
The closure, following the trend of Disengagement, was a unilateral Israeli move.
Of course this is all the more significant given the fact that we are due to travel in about a week to the United States to visit my husband, Yousuf's baba, via Rafah Crossing and Cairo. Its even more painful for Palestinian requiring medical visits in Egypt, or coming back from abroad to begin schools, or even worse-who need to bury their dead.
One of best family friends was killed today in a car crash in Egypt, along with her husband and adopted daughter (only the second, 12-year-old girl survived). THey were there seeking cancer treatement for the father unavailable in Gaza. Now the family that survives them in Gaza cannot go to Egypt and bring the bodies back to be buried here, nor bring the surviving child with them. This is the harsh daily reality for Palestinians. This is the reality that I fear will not change if we are not allowed control over Rafah crossing.
The fanfare in recent days about the "deal" reached over Rafah is vastly overstated. The agreement signed between Egypt and Israel basically gives Egyptian troops the right to...get this...redeploy on their own border. What a breakthrough.
Better yet, the "Egyptian compromise" over border control that the Israeli government is "leaning towards accepting" will have Israel controlling a new terminal for the passage of goods, and Israeli surveillance cameras monitoring Palestinian movement through the current Rafah crossing, which will be operated jointly by Egyptians and Europeans (with Israeli oversight, of course). Right. It all makes sense now. A remote-controlled occupation.