24 September, 2020

Gaza Diary

“You only have a single-entry Israeli visa,” she said. “How will you re-enter the country when you leave Gaza?”

Gaza Diary

Erez Blues

At the Erez border, the sole point of entry into the Gaza Strip, we experienced a moment of pure panic. Not at the occasional dull boom of artillery shelling, but the nameless dread that grips Indian travellers when the person behind the immigration counter ruffles your passport pages with a deeply quizzical expression before calling for the supervisor. (I use the term immigration in the loosest sense. These are fortified booths manned by ladies in army fatigue, designed as individual holding areas with electronically-controlled gates). ‘You only have a single entry Israeli visa’, she said. ‘How will you re-enter the country when you leave Gaza’? This was not an eventuality the embassy in Delhi had prepared us for. The option of escalating this into a full-scale diplomatic incident— we were, after all, the only Indian media team in...



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