NO WAY TO GAZA is a book recently published in London by MEMO, narrated by three Brazilian professors travelling from Cairo through Sinai, in the summer of 2019, to do research in Gaza in collaboration with universities there.
The book is a harrowing story of passage to Gaza, lasting several days of sleeping in cars without food or water, of harsh treatment of passengers, chaos, inefficiency, corruption, plain bribery and pure vengeance. No consideration was given to the old, young or sick. The working hours are too short, with many cases of total shut-down, unlike any border point which is open 24/7.
The frequent search every few kilometers (which could have been done once) was for pilferage from gifts passengers are taking to their families. In this organised theft, various officers in different uniforms are taking turns.
The Palestinians had to bear all this because they had no choice. They could not talk.
At Rafah Crossing they saw the half-hidden coordination with Israel.
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The funny part is that officers did not believe they were Brazilians and insisted to see their Palestinian passports.
The sad part, after all this suffering, they were not allowed to enter Gaza, or in the officers’ words, they were told “you are not allowed to leave Egypt,” a very strange order to a foreigner.
The concluding part is that this book, which told the whole story of the passage to Gaza, is now available to world readers, certainly not the intended result by those who are responsible for the harsh treatment.
In the period before unification of Germany, the Germans in the east who wished to visit their families in the west were gathered in one station where their papers and goods were examined once. They travel in a guarded train to their destination in West Germany where they embark freely. One civilised convenient trip.
They could do this in Egypt by doing the search in Al Qantara, then a convoy of cars, preceded and followed by military vehicles, can travel 300 km in 4 hours (instead of 3 days) without hardship (and without stealing and bad treatment).
This could be arranged from 0800 to 1200 noon and from 1600 to 2000 daily. Rafah Border will be open and ready from them.