They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Thursday, July 19, 2007

One Month of Slowly Dying at the Egypt-Gaza Border

Behind Closed Borders: One Month of Slowly Dying at the Egypt-Gaza Border

An impossibly crowded area. Chaos. A slow, imprisoned death. This, briefly, is the appalling life—though it is hard to term it living—at the Rafah border.

Terrible food, sparse water, poor hygiene, and inadequate shelter. The conditions are ripe for tragedy. Seriously ill people face preventable deaths as, despite their desperate need of medical care, the Rafah border remains closed, preventing passage to medical facilities and to safety back home. For Gazans, it is the equivalent of shutting down Los Angeles airports and banning all other transportation while F-16s, helicopters, and warplanes hover over the static population of the city, ensuring no one can make it back home.

For over one month, at both the Palestinian and Egyptian sides, people have been waiting at the Rafah border –without medicine, with little to no food or water, shelter-less and blistering under the searing Gazan summer sun. All are waiting for the first of 7 consecutive gates to be opened, which will allow the stranded thousands to cross into Gaza or out to seek medical help.

The Rafah border is strictly controlled by Israel, closely monitored by video-cameras. Israel is not allowing the border to open, despite previous agreements to keep the crossing open for 24 hours. Slighting that agreement, Israel hasn’t opened it lately. So, each day ordinary citizens are paying the price, one which comes at the cost of health and life! At least 28 have died as a result of the strict denial of passage to and from Gaza at the Rafah crossing, completely closed since June 10, where nearly 6,000 Palestinians wait without adequate food, water, or shelter in the intense sweltering heat of summer. Even those with severe medical emergencies are being denied passage. Read more