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The longest wait: My journey out of Gaza

Al-Monitor's correspondent documented her own journey from Gaza into Egypt during the Rafah crossing's brief opening in early June.
A Palestinian boy stands behind a fence as he waits for his relatives to return to Gaza from Egypt through Rafah border crossing, after it was opened by Egyptian authorities on Wednesday for two days for the first time in three months, in the southern Gaza Strip May 12, 2016. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem           TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX2E34K

CAIRO, Egypt — In July 2015, I applied for permission to travel at the Abu Khadra government complex — the official application center for all those who want to travel from the Gaza Strip through Rafah — in Gaza City, and found myself as number 10,962 in line.

Every time Egyptian authorities announced the reopening of the Rafah crossing, I knew that my turn was unlikely to come up due to the painfully slow movement through the crossing. But on June 1, the Egyptian authorities announced that the crossing would be opened and published the numbers of travelers permitted to pass. My turn was to come on the fourth and last day of the crossing’s opening: Sunday, June 5.

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