- Title: Gaza is open again to the south. But for how long?
- Date: 25th February 2021
- Summary: RAFAH, GAZA (FEBRUARY 23, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS PALESTINIANS GETTING READY TO LEAVE GAZA, PEOPLE AND DRIVERS LOADING LUGGAGE AT TAXI BOY WEARING A FACE MASK AT A TAXI SIGN READING IN (Arabic, English): 'RAFAH CROSSING POINT' MOTORISTS DRIVING THEIR TAXI VEHICLES TO BORDER POINT ROAD SIGN AT CROSSING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) TAXI DRIVER FROM GAZA, JABER ABU TALAL, 57, SAYING: â€œItâ€™s good that the crossing is open we will be making a living. When the crossing is closed, we stay at home. These cars have no work inside the town, if the crossing is closed the cars stay parked home." TAXI DRIVING INTO CROSSING PARKING SING READING IN (Arabic): 'DEPARTURES, GOOD BYE' VARIOUS OF PEOPLE SEATED INSIDE DEPARTURES ROOM (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN TRAVELLING OUT OF GAZA, UDAY ZAANIN, 38, SAYING: "It (Rafah crossing) is the lifeline for the Gaza Strip and its people, we don't have another crossing, our only crossing is Rafah crossing to Egypt and then to the other countries. When it is closed that means Gaza is dead and we feel like in prison. When it is open we can breathe and we can travel where we want." MAN SITTING IN BUS AT BORDER AREA EGYPTIAN FLAG SIGN READING IN (Arabic): 'RAFAH CROSSING' PEOPLE AT EGYPTIAN SIDE OF THE BORDER VARIOUS OF LOGO OF TOURISM COMPANY IN GAZA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AL-PETRA TOURISM COMPANY, TAMER ALBURAI, DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF AL-PETRA TOURISM COMPANY, TAMER ALBURAI, SAYING: "Travellers are motivated, as a tourism company we are the first to announce about trips to Sharm el-Sheikh. Travellers now know that they can travel and come back." RAFAH, GAZA (FEBRUARY 23, 2021) (REUTERS) (MUTE) DRONE FOOTAGE SHOWING BORDER CITY OF RAFAH (MUTE)
- Embargoed: 11th March 2021 12:58
- Keywords: Egypt Gaza Israel Palestinians Rafah
- Location: RAFAH, GAZA
- City: RAFAH, GAZA
- Country: Palestinian Territories
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Middle East
- Reuters ID: LVA001E1565W5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A fleet of yellow Mercedes taxis lines up outside Gaza's newly reopened Rafah crossing into Egypt, polished again and ready to roll, but with no idea for how long.
Uncertainty is a fact of life in the Palestinian border town, where 4,500 people have crossed into Egypt in the two weeks since one of Gaza's few lifelines to the outside world swung open on February 9.
The opening eased the years-long blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt on the coastal strip, compounded by measures imposed by all sides to halt the spread of COVID-19.
It arose from political maneuvering: Egyptian-brokered mediation talks between rival Palestinian factions to smooth the way for possible elections.
But the travelers have no idea how long the gate will stay open.
"It's good that the crossing is open, and we will be making a living. When the crossing is closed, we stay at home. These cars have no work inside the town, if the crossing is closed the cars stay parked home."
Israel and Egypt cite security concerns for the restrictions, pointing to the fact that Gaza is controlled by the Islamist militant group Hamas.
The two countries allow passage for thousands of workers and humanitarian cases each year, but most of Gaza's two million Palestinians cannot leave.
"When it is closed that means Gaza is dead and we feel like in prison," said hepatitis patient Uday Zaanin, 38, as he waited to board the bus.
(Production: Mohammad Shana, Bassam Masoud, Mohammed Salem, Mustafa Abu Ganeyeh)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None