GAZA 4 – Hope.How long will it last?

A visit of Palestinian children and adolescents in rehabilitation center in Soča, started my journey to Gaza strip as well. Project of Slovenian president dr. Danilo Turk, has reached number of one hundred patients to have rehabilitated in Slovenia. After three weeks of rehab, the group headed back to Gaza. I joined along. The journey lasted until Sunday to Wednesday, from airport Brnik, through Istanbul and Cairo all way to the to Gaza stirp.

Due to sudden visit of Qatar emir in Gaza, the transfer of our convoy, escorted and supported by Slovenian embassy and it’s diplomats, has complicated a bit. After we left Cairo, we got noted by Egyptian security agent, who was escorting us and was giving impression of failed copy of James Bond with his answers, mostly they were „I don’t know“, that Rafah border is closed for national security reasons. We headed to Gaza again on a Wednesday morning, few minutes after midnight. Again with Egyptian police escort, claiming that they are needed for our safety. But after we crossed bridge in Sinai, everything came to a halt. Our convoy was stopped at a checkpoint and we were told to wait additional police vehicle which would escort us to Gaza. Sleepy policemen were assuring us, a convoy will come after ten minutes, which even with calls to several police stations, stretched to more than four hours. Used to scenarios like that, we optimistically tried to catch some sleep on the bus. Finally, around eight o’clock in morning, police escort came and drove along us, about 100 kilometers towards Gaza.

On Egyptian side of border, with some help of mr. Blaž, the group got priority crossing as they are disabled persons.

After about half an hour after I reached my home here in Gaza the sound of cars on the street, chicken, donkeys and unmanned aircraft was combined with a sound of distant explosions, reminding the members of the group, that they are home again.

Ob obisku skupine palestinskih otrok oziroma mladostnikov v rehabilitacijskem centru Soča, se je začela tudi moja četrta pot v Gazo. Projekt pod okriljem predsednika republike Slovenije, dr. Danila Turka, je s tem obiskom obeležil tudi stotega pacienta iz Gaze, ki je bil rehabilitiran v Soči. Po treh tednih bivanja v Sloveniji, pa se je skupina desetih rehabilitirancev odpravila nazaj v domov. Skupaj z njimi, sem se odpravil na pot tudi sam. Potovanje je trajalo od nedelje do srede, iz letališča Brnik, preko Istanbula, Caira vse do Gaze.

Zaradi nenapovedanega obiska Katarskega emirja v Gazi, pa se je pot našega konvoja kljub odlični s podpori in spremstvu  slovenskih diplomatov, zapletla. Šele odhodu iz Caira dobili obvestilo Egipčanskega agenta, ki je s spanjem na avtobusu in odgovori „I don’t know“, dajal vtis neuspešne kopije Jamesa Bonda, da bo mejni prehod Rafah zaprt zaradi nacionalne varnosti. Na pot smo krenili znova v sredo zjutraj nekaj minut po polnoči. Seveda ponovno v spremstvu egipčanske policije, s trditvijo, da so tu zaradi naše varnosti. Po prečkanju mostu na Sinaju, pa se je vse ustavilo. Ustavili so nas na kontrolni točki, in zahtevali naj počakamo na dodatno policijsko spremstvo do meje. Policisti so zaspano zagotavljali, da omenjeno vozilo pride v roku desetih minut, kar pa se je kljub klicarjenju na policijske urade, zavleklo v več kot štiriurno čakanje na avtobusu. Vajeni takšnih scenarijev, smo poskušali zaspati na avtobusu, a dokaj neuspešno. Končno je okrog osmih zjutraj prišlo vozilo, ki nas je pospremilo nadaljnjih 100 kilometrov do meje z Gazo.

Na egipčanski strani je s pomočjo posredovanja diplomata g. Blaža, skupina dobila dovoljenje da prioritetno prečka prehod, saj je bila za invalide že sama pot precej naporna.

Približno pol ure po mojem prihodu v dom, kjer trenutno prebivam, pa se je zvoku avtomobilov, kokoši, oslov in brezpilotnih letal pridružil še zamolkli trušč eksplozij v daljavi, ki je pozdravil rehabilitirance in jih opomnil, da so spet doma.

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