Postcard from... Gaza City
Tuesday 18 September 2012
Crossing borders has always been fun, and unless you're lucky enough to hold a European Union passport, pretty much every border in the world requires a queue, a stamp and a stern looking border officer.
But the crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip is something else entirely. Firstly, there are not many people able to cross from the Israeli side into Gaza. Anyone with an Israeli passport, Palestinians from the West Bank, and tourists can forget it. Journalists are among the select few able to make the journey.
After getting through the Israeli side, you must walk along what must be at least a half-mile- long cage from the airport-like terminus at one end to into the Hamas-controlled post at the end. Throughout the walk you see CCTV camera, gun towers along the concrete wall that is the physical border and airships that with their cameras, keep a constant look-out over the world's most densely populated territory.
But if getting into Gaza is a long and laborious process, getting back into Israel is something else again. After checking out at the Palestinian checkpoint, it's the long walk back through the cage to the Israeli border point. After a series of delayed time-locked gates, it's then into a chamber where two arms spin around you.
When you're eventually through all this, it's time to get your bag back and someone sifts through your contents again.
Only when all this is done can you queue up before the border official and get your passport stamped, and it's off into Israel.
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 4 Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
- 5 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
The City of the Monkey God: Archaeologists claim to have found city lost for 1,000 years in remote Honduran jungle
Turkish Airlines flight TK 726 crash-lands on Nepal runway amid dense fog
Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
London property boom built on dirty money
Becky Watts: Stepbrother and his girlfriend named locally as two arrested on suspicion of murder
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Full time and Part time positio...
£45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and reputable Not for Profit o...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Ledger & Credit Control...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Project Administrator is requ...