Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who Needs the PA? USrael! Certainly Not the Palestinians.

Palestinians in Gaza denied PA passports
Rami Almeghari, The Electronic Intifada, 19 July 2010

"Nidal Abdo lives in Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip. Four years ago he was at a friend's house in the nearby al-Bureij refugee camp when Israeli tanks moved in. When Abdo tried to escape the area, Israeli soldiers shot him in his left foot. Due to the injury, Abdo still can't walk or stand for long periods of time. He needs a metal rod inserted into his foot and because the surgery can't be performed in Gaza, his doctors have referred him abroad.

Amid all the obstacles preventing Palestinians in Gaza from traveling outside the besieged territory, Abdo faces an additional one. He needs a passport and despite five attempts to obtain one, he has so far failed.

"After three weeks, another travel agent phoned me and told me that officials refused to issue me a passport for security reasons," Abdo told The Electronic Intifada after just returning from a visit to a doctor in Gaza City. "I am a member of the Nuseirat Camp handball club and, thank God, most of the team members are considered to be Fatah supporters." This is significant for Abdo because many Palestinians believe that passports are now being issued based on political affiliation......

Students, patients seeking medical treatment and those with residency permits in neighboring Arab countries can leave Gaza through the Egyptian-controlled Rafah crossing terminal when it is open, but only if they have a passport.

"Denying me my right to a passport is inconsistent with our Palestinian social or religious values," said Nidal Abdo. But like thousands of other Palestinians, he is still waiting for one."

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