Gazing at Gaza
The Gaza Strip moved from being a topic on CNN to reality when the Temple Micah bus stopped at an Israeli outpost today. The most startling realization was the size: roughly 20 miles long and 4 miles wide, supporting 2 million people.
As we watched, an Israeli patrol of two trucks slowly moved down the road next to the fence dividing Gaza from Israel, a shepherd watched his flock just on the other side of the fence, and the sound of rockets exploding in the distance filled the air.
We saw the sites of the Israeli settlements that had been forcibly evacuated. We saw the tall buildings of Gaza City, funded by the Saudis. We saw the Israeli tanks that had been outfitted to knock down Palestinian homes. We saw the series of Israeli towers, all visually connected, which constantly monitor the area around the fence. We saw the neighboring Israeli kibbutzim that are so often the targets of hostile missiles.
I tried to imagine how the two parts of Palestine will ever be effectively connected. I know it’s the best anyone can hope for, but the reality of forming a viable country from two disconnected pieces is sobering.
As we boarded our bus and headed into the desert, Gaza once again resumed its status as a spot on the map, but it had been reduced to a small, crowded, and still thundering haven for angry Palestinians.