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
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)
Terrorists or militants?
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)
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)
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:
Palestinian flags etc.
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)
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.
- 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 126.96.36.199 (talk • contribs)
- 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.
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.
- 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)