Our trip began in Cairo on the day a new government – with the same limited powers – was sworn in as the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Council came under fire from the revolutionaries who refused to leave Tahrir Square.
The trip ended with news that Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip had executed two men who were convicted of collaboration with Israel, reminding us all that it was as much a war as a siege that had yet to resolved.
When we first entered the Gaza Strip, it felt like an open prison, which was the description used by David Cameron last year.
The Rafah crossing is the only route into the Gaza Strip on the Egyptian side whilst all the points of entry from Israel are closed off; therefore the Rafah crossing is a vital link to support Gaza’s economy.
In recent times, most of us around the world were under the impression that the Arab spring would have opened it up but alas, movement through the crossing is at best slow, and if you’re a Palestinian, painfully so.
We were greeted by some of their members and were told of the number of times the premises had been bombed by the Israeli forces.
Not surprisingly, the resilient character of its citizens has seen it rebuilt so that Palestinians can continue along a democratic road.
There are children who have never seen their fathers and who perhaps never will.
This is where many would have worked, making daily trips, and the curtailment of this movement for the families is clearly isolating prisoners.
Here, the educational apartheid between academic institutions in Israel and Palestine was very apparent.
This does not bode well for the future.
Often links between academic institutions are the only thread of cohesion in countries or states existing within political and military adversaries but alas there were no signs that there is any such exchange of thought and views, often critical in maintaining links between states in difficult times.
In this respect moves are afoot to get the UN to recognise Palestine, and let us wish them much success.
In the meantime, the Arab spring has yet to forge a permanent change in the fortunes of Palestinians but as spring turns into summer, one starting point can be to open up the Rafah crossing – undoubtedly, the life line for citizens living in the Gaza strip.
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