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Women's Voices: Rana - Freedom of movement / Gaza women

 Age:  25
 Location:  Gaza City, Gaza Strip
 Date of incident:  22 December 2014
 Nature of incident:  Freedom of movement

 On 22 December 2014, a young woman from Gaza describes her joy at being able to visit Jerusalem. 

Rana lives in Gaza City with her parents and siblings. “I have always dreamed of living a simple life, a good life that is free from all the stress and mistreatment that we experience here in Gaza,” says Rana. On 21 December 2014, I received a phone call from my brother telling me that I had been granted a permit by the Israeli authorities to leave Gaza and visit Jerusalem. I couldn’t believe my luck. I was given a permit to attend a two days psychological conference. This was the first time I was ever allowed to leave Gaza.”
“The very next day me and my brother went to Erez checkpoint. We spent about 30 minutes at the Palestinian checkpoint as they looked at our papers before passing to the Israeli checkpoint. On the Israeli side we waited for hours but I was just happy to be able to leave Gaza. On the bus to Jerusalem I heard the other passengers talking about cities such as Nazareth, Ramallah and Nablus; places I had heard about but never thought I would actually be able to visit.”
“While visiting Jerusalem I had mixed feelings. I was pleased to be there but it reminded me of how restricted our lives are in Gaza. I want to be able to move freely and visit every part of my country. When I visited Al-Aqsa Mosque and touched the holy dome of the rock I couldn’t believe it. I hugged my friend and cried; being there made me feel really happy.”
“My visit to Jerusalem refreshed my hope that one day we will be free.”

keyword: Gaza Women