We arrived in Israel and Palestine in late December for a remarkable international conference in Bethlehem, “Celebrating Nonviolent Resistance” and with intentions of traveling to Gaza early in January. Five members of the Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project were already working in Rafah at the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip–some for up to two months. They were having ongoing discussion with Palestinians about security issues. After careful consideration of the growing tensions surrounding upcoming elections and recent kidnappings, we agreed to travel to Gaza as planned, while continuing to carefully monitor the situation.
On the afternoon of January 2nd we arrived in the Gaza Strip where we anticipated spending five days reconnecting with friends and carrying out work for the Rachel Corrie Foundation for Peace and Justice and also for the Olympia-Rafah Sister City Project and The Rebuilding Alliance. We had wonderful reunions with the two families whose home our daughter Rachel Corrie tried to protect when she was killed in 2003, and with friends that we have made in the Gaza community since. [Read more…]