Tom Hill

You Are Not Entering Free Gaza

On Sunday I meant to leave the Gaza Strip. This has exactly two exits. The first, the Rafah border crossing to Egypt, was, by Egyptian agreement with Israel, closed for six months when the Israeli army left Gaza - nominally for phantom ‘repairs’, a euphemism for Israeli-Egyptian collusion to forestall be it even the illusion of Palestinian sovereignty over Gaza’s borders. On Sunday morning I received a call: the second exit, the Erez checkpoint into Israel, was also closed, indefinitely, for no stated reason, not only to Palestinians - that would not be news - but to foreigners, too. That Gaza is a prison is a metaphor that suffers from overuse, because it is too literally true to function as metaphors usually do.