Glimmer of hope at Rafah crossing

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra reports from the Rafah crossing as it briefly opens.

by
    Palestinians wait inside a bus, some are returning to
    the Rafah crossing for a fifth time [Reuters] 

    Guards overwhelmed

    One man tells us this is this is the fifth time he has had to show up on the border.

    Your Views

    "The land of Israel belongs to both Jews and Palestinians - as long as there are people who reject this fact, the conflict will never be solved"

    Iskander, Boston, US

    Send us your views

    He says he wants the international community to stop the sufferings of the Palestinian people.

    A pregnant woman, Shadia, tells us she is tired, if she fails to cross today, her husband's residence will expire and they won't be able to leave Gaza.

    Her tears are more of frustration than pain, she can't stand the pressure and uncertainty.

    At one moment, the Palestinian security guards on duty were overwhelmed with the massive flow of furious travellers.

    One border guard tells us: "You should know that we are sympathetic with our people, we are here to help them and maintain order … but we want our borders to be under our control".

    Yusra says: "I am sick, I had to borrow money
    to survive, my daughter is also sick"

    Yusra has just arrived from Egypt, but even there, her trip was not an easy one.

    She says: "I am sick, I have just been released from hospital in Egypt.

    "I had to wait for long hours at the crossing point for the last fifteen days.

    "I had to borrow money to survive, and my daughter is also sick".

    EU powerless

    Since the 2005 agreement between the Israelis, the Palestinians and the Egyptians, the Rafah crossing has been operating under the auspices of European Union (EU) observers… a task that turns out to be very delicate.

    Jose Vericat, an EU press officer: "At the end of the day there is just one solution and that is the border returns to normality, and we call on all sides to make sure the border returns to normality. 

    "We are a neutral party, we have no executive powers, we are only here to monitor the situation."

    Those who were lucky today made it to the final point, and once their passport was stamped, they knew nothing could now stop them from seeing the rest of the world.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


    ABOUT THE AUTHOR



    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.