'The well-documented incapacitating measures that besieged Gazans encounter when seeking to exercise their basic right to freedom of movement are too numerous to go through in detail, but now there’s one Egyptian private company offering a VIP service that puts this nightmare aside, for the (un)affordable price of $1,200 per passenger.
As Israel continues to criminally shut down both Gaza's air and water spaces by military force, the beleaguered population have been compelled to rely on the occasional mercy of the Egyptian authorities to grant them access to the world through its territory, via the border crossing of Rafah.
However, to attempt departure through Rafah, Gazans have to endure unspeakable tribulations, sometimes beyond human capacity.
Only cases deemed humanitarian (e.g. students and terminally ill patients seeking help abroad, or family reunifications) are allowed to petition for departure, only to find themselves then waiting for months on end until its one's turn in a never-ending queue to despairingly attempt to exit.
After a long humiliating journey to cross the few metres of numerous border gates that separate the imminently uninhabitable Gaza Strip from Egypt, Gazan passengers are then gathered in an Egyptian-run passenger hall for 24 hours, punctuated by a high likelihood of the Egyptian intelligence calling one's name suddenly, every ten minutes or so, for deportation back to Gaza without further explanation.
The successfully departing passengers are then shuttled in prison-like conditions to Cairo airport, through the Sinai desert, where passengers are subject to more humiliation, extortion and abuse on hundreds of "security" checkpoints in the peninsula, making the supposedly 6-8 hours journey take days instead.'
Read more: Human rights at a premium: How this Egyptian company profits from the blockade of Gaza
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29 August 2019
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