RAFAH, Gaza Strip — Not far from the border gate in Rafah, where thousands of travelers are held up after the Egyptian authorities closed the crossing, lies the Gaza International Airport. The airport is made up of three huge buildings adorned with Moroccan mosaics. The first is for VIP travelers and topped with a golden dome, the second is the departures/arrivals lounge and the third houses the Palestinian Airlines administration. Behind these structures stretches a long runway. The airport has a large main gate and another secondary one.
From afar, these buildings look operational, but as you get closer the destruction becomes apparent. There are no passengers or planes, and the buildings have been bombed out and emptied of everything but their outer structure. Even the stones that made up the tarmac have been stolen, and the runway has become a winter pasture for the sheep of nearby nomads. A horse’s cadaver lies nearby.