Thursday, October 18, 2007

The 41st kilometer: Gaza, "A Zoo"

The hermetic imprisonment of 1.5 million human beings
Global Research, October 15, 2007

During the past four months, Israel has permitted about 2,000 people to leave the Gaza Strip - a minority of them were ill; more than half were Fatah senior activists or loyalists who were fleeing from the Strip; and the rest were individuals holding dual citizenship or visas for prolonged stays abroad. For the sake of comparison: In 1999, 1,400 people a day went through the Rafah crossing point alone, in addition to the thousands who passed though the Erez crossing point, despite the permanent closure policy. Now, 1.5 million human beings are living with the knowledge that the length of their world is at most 41 kilometers long and 12 kilometers wide.

A zoo. This is one of the ways that Palestinians describe the conditions under which nearly 1.5 million of them have been living: in an area of some 360 square kilometers, closed in on three sides by sophisticated barbed-wire fences, concrete walls and military lookout towers, and to the west by Israeli navy ships that seal them off from the sea. Overhead, in the sky, unmanned aircraft and hot air balloons continually photograph whatever happens inside this closed cage, which has seven gates connecting it to the world, all of which are sealed off almost hermetically.

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