B’tselem Documents Cases of Women Stranded in Gaza away from Family

Shahd Abusalama and other stranded Gazans at the Rafah border. (Photo: Supplied, file)

In a report released on Thursday and titled ‘Women trapped in Gaza away from their homes and partners’, the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem documents several cases of Palestinian women who came to Gaza to visit family and found themselves stuck there for months away from their loved ones.

For this tragic situation, B’Tselem mainly blames on Israel, for its decades-old land, air and sea blockade.

Egypt also holds part of the blame for its around-the-clock closure of Rafah crossing, which is, besides Erez crossing with Israel, Gaza’s only land exit point for its two million residents.

The B’Tselem report said most of the women, who were married to Arab nationals and have been living either in Egypt or other countries, returned to Gaza whenever the Rafah crossing was open to visit family members. They had planned to be there for few days or weeks, but found themselves stuck in Gaza for months or even years unable to return home to be with their partners and children.

“These women, who are not residents of Gaza, have no work and no source of income. They have no choice but to stay with relatives, most of whom live in poverty themselves,” said the report.


In spite of the fact that Rafah Crossing is closed almost all year as a result of Palestinian and Egyptian decisions,

“the fact that it is the only way out of Gaza is entirely the result of Israeli policy, which has barred all other forms of access – by air, by sea, or by land to Jordan via Israel, except in rare instances. Moreover, Israel is well aware of the situation at Rafah Crossing. In this state of affairs, Israel bears the primary responsibility for the fact that almost two million Palestinians – including the trapped women described here – are imprisoned in the Gaza Strip.”

(Wafa, PC, Social Media)

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