“Because We Care” Gaza in 2012
August 24, 2022 / By Karen Peterson
Editor’s Note: The following article is part of the "Because We Care" series, published monthly on the Upper New York website.
With Gaza recently in the news, I was reminded of my trip to Gaza. In 2012, the Reverend Gary Doupe and I took an Eyewitness Palestine trip for two weeks in Palestine/Israel and then extended a third week to travel to Gaza.
If we had been allowed to go through an Israeli check point, we would have been there within an hour. Instead, we had to fly to Amman, Jordan at 10:00 p.m. and then on to Cairo, arriving the next morning. Upon arrival, we were told we had to go to the US embassy to sign a document: If anything happened to us in the Sinai or Gaza, our government was not responsible! There had been recent clashes. We had an armed guard- two men riding in a truck facing us pointing their guns at us!
Cindy and Craig Corrie were our guides. Their daughter had been bulldozed to death in Gaza at the age of 23 in 2003 while trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home. The Corries have tried and continue to try to get the Israeli government to take responsibility.
We left early the following morning. The Corries were to call back to the EyeWitness every hour as we travelled through the Sinai. We finally arrived safely at our hotel at 7:00 p.m. after waiting several hours on the Egyptian side as the power went out and then being warmly greeted on the Palestinian side with tea and treats.
Everywhere we traveled in Gaza, school children knew the Corries. It was an awesome experience—the difference in lifestyle between the Palestinians in Gaza and those in the West Bank.
Fishermen in their boats having fun were continually being shot at by Israeli soldiers. Electricity was turned on and off at will. Power was shut off for extended periods of time. Farmers had their produce sprayed with poison just before harvest time, etc.etc. etc,!
The last night we were there, booming began around 2:00 a.m. The Palestinians were concerned about our safety and could not get us out fast enough. Back through the Sinai we went!