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Current situation in Gaza
Thursday, September 15, 2005

The situation in Gaza City and the rest of the Gaza Strip area has remained calm. Thousands of Palestinians have gone to the south of Gaza Strip to see the evacuated settlements. There are a lot of debris loft over after Israeli army destroyed settlers houses in all the settlements. However, one can see hundreds of green houses left intact in the areas. Most roads remained in good shape.

Palestinians from the town of Rafah and Khan younis went in huge numbers to the beach for swimming after being deprived by the Israeli military in the past.

The biggest surprise of the last few days is the entry into Egypt from Gaza Side without any border paper process. Tens of thousands of Palestine and some Egyptians have crossed to both sides of the border without any problem. Egyptian authorities could not do any thing about it. Many Palestinians have relatives and family members on the Egyptian side of Rafah and the town of Al Arish , only 40 Km south of Rafah.

According to media reports, Egyptians may close the unofficial entry at border by 6:00 AM Thursday, Sept. 15th. However, thousands of Palestinians are still in the Egyptian side. Many reported that all hotels rooms and beach cottages in Al Arish have been fully booked by Gazans enjoying the newly found freedom and the cheaper prices at the Egyptian side.

Rafah border crossing is still officially closed. Palestinian media sources reported that the border may open in a week time.

Security situation inside Gaza city is calm. The streets in the city are almost empty since so many of its residents have gone to see the settlements or crossed to Egyptian town of Al Arish for a quick holiday.

Several Palestinian political factions have set up ceremonies and celebrations at different locations within evacuated settlements.

President Abu Mazen was supposed to deliver a speech, Wednesday, 14/9, at a main event in the Gosh Qatif settlement area. But he could not make it to the event. One of his top aids, Mr. Taib Abdul Rahim, delivered a speech in behalf of the president where he told the gathering , "the celebration won't be completed until we liberate our land and Jerusalem the capital."

Also, the Palestinians have announced the formation of a new Palestinian- Egyptian committee to supervise the situation at Rafah Border Crossing. Mr. Al Rujoub, National security advisor, told media sources about the formation of this committee where the purpose is to control the border area.

Reported by B. Samed

Sept. 15th. 2005


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