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The Rafah Border Crossing is a painful path for Gaza's Palestinians

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The young Ayman Adly graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy in Gaza's Al Azhar University in 2009. Due to the high level of unemployment resulting from the Israeli-led siege and repeated military offensives launched against the coastal enclave by Israel, he could not find any work.

"I went online and followed dozens of social media accounts and pages specialising in getting job seekers connected with employers abroad," he told me. "It didn't take long for me to be shortlisted for an interview. The company asked if I could work in the UAE and I said yes. That's when the difficulties began."

His next obstacle was the Rafah Border Crossing, the only outlet to the world for most Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since 2007. To use the crossing, he needed a passport, so he duly completed all of the documentation required and submitted his application. It took two months for the passport to be issued by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

"The passport was issued in 2009 and expired in 2014," he said. "The second was issued after two weeks in 2015 and expired in 2020." He applied immediately for a third and got it within a week. Adly has thus had three passports, none of which has been used to travel.

"With my first passport in my hand, I went to the Rafah Crossing, and after spending about 20 hours in a very crowded immigration hall on the Egyptian side, an official called my name, give me back my passport and told me that my name was on the blacklist and I was forbidden from entering Egypt or passing through it."


© Middle East Monitor

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