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Talk:Gaza

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For future reference the Wikitravel:CIA World Factbook 2002 import can be found at Talk:Gaza Strip/CIA World Factbook 2002 import.


So, this page used to say, "Part of the future state of Palestine". Maj and I were discussing this over dinner, and we decided that when we finish setting up wikitimetravel.org, we'll of course have guides to destinations that exist only in the future. It would only be fair to time travelers to give them a heads-up on future events.

However, in wikitravel.org, we should probably concentrate on the present, for up-to-date information, and the past, for historical context. Predictions as to the future state of the world can probably find their place on other sites. -- Evan 12:41, 10 Nov 2003 (PST)

Strip vs City vs nothing[edit]

I've taken the liberty of merging "Gaza Strip" (country template) and "Gaza" (missing but would be a city template) into one Singapore-style city state, as the two are pretty much synonymous and none of the other settlements are of any significance. In the unlikely event that the article starts to grow wildly, we can always hive off Khan Yunis etc into their own district pages.

Incidentally, I wonder if I'm the only Wikitraveller who has actually been to Gaza...? Jpatokal 10:52, 26 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Not sure if I agree with this. At least I think we should could it "Gaza Strip", not Gaza, as that is the name of the city and thus quite confusing (as it apparently refers to the whole strip). On the other end, now the article is just filled with security issues. I think if we separate the city and the strip, then the Gaza Strip could warn users, while Gaza City could actually contain useful listings while on the ground. --globe-trotter 17:29, 13 January 2010 (EST)

Terrorists or militants?[edit]

Someone changed a word in the warning box from "terrorist" to "militant" and someone else reverted it claiming the "euphemism" did not serve travellers. I've changed it back; it's not a euphemism, just a more neutral term. I object to the loaded term "terrorist" on much the same grounds I'd object to calling them "freedom fighters"; certainly they can be seen that way, but it is a political judgment that need not be made here. Pashley 03:08, 15 December 2007 (EST)

I agree that wiki resources need to adapt with as much objectivity as possible, however one must weigh that against the safety implications of said political judgement. Specifically, many people for whom English is a second language represent the possibility an extremely serious and hazardous misinterpretation. Direct translations from English to many other languages (mainly European languages) would adapt 'militant' as 'activist', implying a more peaceful nature (such as one would imagine protestors in most Anglophone countries). This most unequivocally not the case of those in Gaza. 'Terrorist' may be a politically subjective and loaded term, but at the very least, everyone can agree that it implies a level of violence more representative of the true condition in Gaza. -- Amizzo 14:36, 28 February 2008 (EST)

The sentence in question has "... militants may be firing rockets at Israel." I do not believe mis-interpreting that as referring to peaceful protest is at all likely. Pashley 04:23, 5 January 2009 (EST)

Militants would mean the rockets are targetted at military installations, which the Qassam rockets are not. They are very clearly targetted at civilian installations and intended to provoke fear. So, it would be terrorists. Any attack on civilians designed to provoke fear is terrorism, no matter who does it (ETA, IRA, PLO, HMS, etc...) Should we say in Belfast that it is possible to be attacked in a bombing by Irish militants? Gaza 17:34, 22 July 2010 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Be fair#Political disputes is the guiding principle in this case. Since there is a strong argument to be made for both stronger or weaker terms, the more neutral term is preferred. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:59, 22 July 2010 (EDT)
Oh I am new here so I did not understand that. --Gaza 17:54, 29 July 2010 (EDT)

Move[edit]

To be politically correct, the city is "Gaza" (commonly called "Gaza City" to differentiate it from the region), but the region is "Gaza Strip" (in reference to the main city). I have move the article from "Gaza" to "Gaza Strip" to correct this. AHeneen 21:43, 31 December 2008 (EST)

I think the two should be merged again -- the whole place is tiny, and there's nothing like an actual sleepable destination outside the city. Jpatokal 03:53, 5 January 2009 (EST)
I'm inclined to agree, especially since the current city article is a useless stub. Pashley 04:32, 5 January 2009 (EST)
A merge sounds reasonable to me, provided we don't lose in the process this gem from the Gaza (city) article: "fish call luxos why gaza beach is sandy beach so the fish just pass by so its the best i ever eat in gaza" --Peter Talk 04:36, 5 January 2009 (EST)

Although there are separate cities, I think most tourists will remain in Gaza City. So until we have more info, it should stay one article. Gaza 17:58, 22 July 2010 (EDT)


Apparent contradiction[edit]

So can you get in and out from Egypt or not? Arpitt 13:20, 9 January 2009 (EST)

There is a checkpoint at Rafah, but the Palestinian side of it is 100% controlled by the Israelis and closed subject to their whims. Jpatokal 23:20, 9 January 2009 (EST)
[Homer voice] Damn Israelis [/Homer voice] seriously though, given the current situation, I think we should just wait to see what happens until someone figures out a peace agreement/cease fire, I'm following the daily reports of the (in Scandinavia) very famous Norwegian doctors working in Gaza, and the general situation is changing by the minute, no point in trying to keep up. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 01:12, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Yes and no. There is one crossing on the Egyptian border controlled by an EU mission, which is open to the UN all the time but has on-and-off opening and closings for everyone else (at Israel's whim). The border is also home to many smuggling tunnels (over 90 destroyed by IDF since 2004), which allow most Gazans to travel almost freely (but illegally) between Gaza & Egypt to See Rafah Border Crossing on Wikipedia.
About that Norwegian doctor, I saw a report about his hospital on NBC Nightly News last week, but yesterday a big controversy arose about him and the "freelance photographer" he works with. Without making a case for either side, here is what happened: CNN showed a video which recorded the death of a Palestinian boy at that hospital, that Norwegian doctor and another Palestinian "doctor" trying to treat him. Many people commented that what they were doing to him was incorrect or would have little or no effect. CNN withdrew the video from their website, but left the article about the story. Today they replaced the article's URL with a new article defending the video. Many people online noted the "freelance photographer" and that doctor have been trying to produce documentaries before and accused the video of being fake and only Palestinian propaganda. Here are links, I will let you decide:

Israel does not control the Ramah crossing anymore. It is 100% Egypt, who generally keeps it closed, even to humanitarian supplies. Gaza 17:58, 22 July 2010 (EDT)

Palestinian flags etc.[edit]

If you visit the flag shop or buy other Palestinian souvenirs, is Israeli customs (or the military at the border) likely to give you a hard time? I imagine they do not like PLO flags, Hamas emblems, etc, much. Pashley 07:40, 17 June 2009 (EDT)

No, they are used at protests all the time with no issues. The customs people know why a visitor is there already. Gaza

Warning header[edit]

Have added a warning about the use of white phosphorous against civilian targets by Israel. Seems unfair to only talk of the threat of Palestinian militia in the area, without mentioning the risk of Israeli military action that usually involves firing heavy artillery and rockets into densely populated civilian areas. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 58.175.44.229 (talkcontribs)

When Isreal decides to shell the Gaza strip again, this is relevant info, until then it's not, whereas the existing info is constant. Our goal here is not to be neutral, since the content is travel information not a wikipedia article about the conflict. The goal is to be sober and pragmatic and describe the situation as it is for english speakers "travelling" in the Gaza strip. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 04:30, 4 November 2009 (EST)
Israel has shelled it frequently enough that it could happen while any traveler is over there, don't you think? It isn't much good to someone who reads it and goes there, only for an Israeli invasion force to start using illegal weapons like white phosphorous on the civilian population (and the UN). There should at least be mention of the possibility of being killed by indiscriminate Israeli ordnance. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 58.175.44.229 (talkcontribs)
I edited it, adding mention of the Israeli military as one of the dangers. To me, that's just being realistic. Pashley 07:14, 4 November 2009 (EST)
Wikitravel:Be fair#Political disputes is the guideline to follow here, specifically "stick to the bare minimum of facts necessary, presented as neutrally as possible, while keeping a firm focus on the traveller's interests" (bold added). White phosphorus was used only during an open war in Gaza, and during that time there was a warning on this article indicating that the area was completely unsafe. At present it is not relevant to travelers what weapons were used during that war, and adding warnings about such weapons will only to stir up political passions, something which we specifically do NOT want to be focusing on. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:43, 4 November 2009 (EST)
Sorry Ryan, I don't see your point at all. We can limit the use of description of the actual (illegal) weapons used by the Israeli's against Palestinian civilians (and the UN), but there should be a mention of risk of abrupt (without warning) military action taken by Israeli's against civilian targets in the area. Put it this way, if the article was about the Bronx, Belfast, Glasgow, New Orleans etc. we can't be expected to have "up to the day" warnings about particular areas or threats - we can't know if a particular threat is going to apply every day, but when its frequent enough we should be giving a general warning. Its simply a matter of a general warning that not only does a traveler need to worry about militia kidnappings and murder, but also foreign military threats which can occur at any time and without warning (and using weapons that are highly illegal and designed to massacre civilians). It is entirely reasonable to suggest that even nuclear weapons could be used by Israel against Gaza, with little warning, based on past history. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 58.175.44.229 (talkcontribs)
First, if you can seriously make the comment "it is entirely reasonable to suggest that even nuclear weapons could be used by Israel against Gaza" then I don't think you should be editing this article. This statement has absolutely nothing to do with travel and is far from "reasonable".
Second, your edits have been questioned by numerous editors, so at this point you will need to achieve some consensus on this talk page before making further edits. Wikitravel policy is that when individuals disagree that discussion should take place on the talk page and further changes should not be made until agreement is reached. In this case myself and others are having trouble seeing how your edits aren't going to provoke future edit wars as individuals on both sides try to add/remove what they see as biased information. In the mean time my view, and the view of others who have commented and monitored your edits, is that these changes neither improve the article nor provide use to travelers, and the Wikitravel:Be fair policy is clear that in that case the edits are inappropriate. -- Ryan • (talk) • 09:53, 5 November 2009 (EST)

I've added the warning back in. I've also added a comment regarding Israel's continued blockade of the area, which severely limits medical supplies to the region and is strangling the area economically - in light of keeping the information as current as possible, you could consider the ongoing blockade as a part of the 2008 conflict. Much like the Russian occupation of East Germany, for example. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 58.175.44.229 (talkcontribs)

NO! you are quite clearly focused on political issues here, which I kindly ask you to direct at wikipedia. Wikitravel has received a fair amount of respect in the blogosphere for our no-nonsense approach to these issues, and I very much want to keep it that way - and from what I know about my follow wikitravellers, they feel very much the same way. If you want to help the Palestinian cause, I'd suggest you join the work of one of the many charities, instead of using Wikitravel to wage a propaganda war, which is utterly pointless if you ask me - we should be the last place anyone would want to look for information regarding the conflict, if we've done our job right. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 06:07, 5 November 2009 (EST)
I agree with Sertman - Wikitravel is not the place to make political points. Our time is much better spent focusing on what is needed to make good travel guides, and the anonymous user making these edits hasn't made a valid argument why this is a better travel article when it contains additional focus on Israel's controversial past and current actions in Gaza. -- Ryan • (talk) • 09:53, 5 November 2009 (EST)

I think the anonymous user (me) makes mroe sense.

1. Israeli military action is a threat that can strike Gaza without warning. Fact.

2. You can't get in to Gaza at the moment because Israel is blockading everything bar limited medical supplies. Fact.

Both points made this a better travel article because they provide up to date current information about the security of the place. If you WERE able to get in, its important to know that Israel's blockade has severely restricted supplies - making the place more dangerous than usual. But of course, if anyone mentions anything remotely critical of Israel, it is bound to be edited and the poster accused of racism. If you don't understand how providing up to date medical, security and accessability information can help a traveller, you need to leave this website and never come back. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 202.76.167.125 (talkcontribs)

We probably have one of the most detailed accounts on the web on how to get into Gaza. Furthermore the guide already tells would-be visitors that "if you're not either a fully accredited journalist or an aid/human rights worker, you're unlikely to get permission to enter Gaza from Israel." that "The Gaza Strip is occasionally subject to Israeli military operations (which include aerial bombardment as well as ground incursions)" and thanks to Pashley rewrite if your information that "At present, Israel is blockading the area following the 2008 "war" and only limited medical supplies are allowed in. I hate the apartheid like policies of the Israeli's (probably) as little you as you do, but I insist on us keeping our cool and staying keep away from political points, and your current actions amounts to little more than trolling in my view. If you have working specialist knowledge of Gaza, I suggest you put it to good use, and add content to the See, Do, Eat, Drink and Sleep sections instead. Or if you can provide first hand information on how the blockade is affecting e.g. electricity supply and the food situation, that information is welcome too, if you can put it your heart to write it a neutral way - e.g. "due to the Israeli blockade, electricity supply is unstable, and there is occasional blackouts on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, mainly during the morning/noon/afternoon/evening/night". --Stefan (sertmann) talk 18:57, 5 November 2009 (EST)

- Thanks Stefan, I see your point (after all of that). Appreciate your and Ryan's willingness to at least discuss the issue rather than stamping it out with no dialogue. In hindsight I was too quick to edit. Cheers

I think there should be warnings about Israeli military actions, Hamas-Fatah and other group clashes, militants, and terrorists. All four are distinct threats. Or we could just say that the region is prone to violence that can quickly spiral out of control. I do not think anyone can really say that there is little warning. For the last war, the two sides were exchanging words for weeks before much violence broke out. Gaza 17:58, 22 July 2010 (EDT)

Current situation[edit]

Someone has listed that Israel has withdrawn from the area in Jan 2009. This isn't correct, as Israel continue to blockade the Strip since the 2008 war - which has impoverished the area further and reduced access to medicine. In the interests of accuracy this should be mentioned. I tried to edit this to reflect the current situation, but it has reverted back I think? Anyone who is capable of running a quick google search of 'Israeli blockade 2008-09' can see that Gaza is absolutely being blockaded and all entry to and from Israel is completely impossible at present (I don't think I need to explain why this is relevant information) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 202.76.167.125 (talkcontribs)

The guide already makes it very very obvious there is a blockade, did you even read the guide before you started complaining about our perceived bias? otherwise go back, and read the entire Get In section! Israel has to the best of my knowledge withdrawn it's troops outside the walls, so stop all this non-sense please. I'm inclined not to comment any further, and revert any politically motivated edits on sight. --Stefan (sertmann) talk 21:20, 5 November 2009 (EST)

- Its hardly politically motivated to mention that Israel has NOT withdrawn (when the articel has stated they have). the fact is, they are blockading Gaza, this involves troops in Gaza, manning the borders. If you are happy with a factually incorrect article that is fine. But youa re jumping at shadows thinking I am trying to update this for political reasons. Unfortunately, sometimes the facts are political in nature. I am changing it back, until you can give me a reason not to (outside of your stealthy reversions without any argumentative basis). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 202.76.167.125 (talkcontribs)

As stated above, please make no further edits to this article until you have achieved consensus to do so, otherwise those changes will likely be reverted. Note that your previous statement contains several contradictions - the fact that Israel is now manning the borders implies that they have withdrawn from Gaza to the borders with Israel - so either you are trolling or misinterpreting the facts. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:44, 5 November 2009 (EST)

Israel is not in Gaza. They just control some of the borders. Wherever there is a border, two countries will control it. This is nothing criminal. It is not our place to decide how humane the Israeli actions are. We can only report what a visitor will experience.

"Politics" warning box[edit]

I've removed the politics warning box [1] since that disclaimer applies to a LOT of places and I'm not sure we want to start adding editorial comments to the articles themselves - in the past we've handled this sort of issue using HTML comments that aren't visible in the article until it is edited. In the mean time I think it's sufficient to simply watch articles such as this one that are magnets for politically motivated edits and edit them per Wikitravel:Be fair#Political disputes. That obviously leads to a lot of reverts of very persistent individuals, but it seems like a better solution than cluttering articles with warnings that will likely be ignored anyhow. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:20, 5 November 2009 (EST)

To be shot at??[edit]

What does this sentence mean (in bold), taken from the Get In-section: "This can be a bit nervous, depending on the general situation in the area at the moment, and this is the most likely place for you to be shot at."

Who is gonna shoot at people as they enter Gaza and WHY? 85.149.228.178

Either side could suspect you, but clearly people get in somehow safely as many dignitaries have visited over the years, including even this year. Gaza 17:58, 22 July 2010 (EDT)

Do section?[edit]

I am trying to make the Do section but it does not work. This part is lacking in the article. --Gaza 18:00, 29 July 2010 (EDT)

I do not see the problem. There is a "Do" section; I assume it is editable. What problem do you have? Pashley 19:10, 29 July 2010 (EDT)

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