«I DIDN'T CROSS THE BORDER, THE BORDER CROSSED». Le mobilità palestinesi attraverso il confine tra Egitto e Striscia di Gaza/«I DIDN'T CROSS THE BORDER, THE BORDER CROSSED». Palestinian mobility across the border between Egypt and Gaza Strip

Lorenzo Navone


The article is based on ethnographic materials collected during several fieldwork experiences in the borderland between Egypt, Israel and the Gaza Strip from 2009 until 2011. The study is based on participant observation and on several interviews conducted around the border crossing on the Egyptian side. During the unpredictable openings of the Rafah border crossing, thousands of people queue in front of the terminal, waiting to cross. Through the presentation of some paradigmatic case studies, this chapter attempts to answer some crucial questions: How does this “triangular” border work? When and where does it work? Who is allowed to cross it? Who is not? The image of the border as a membrane compressed between two opposite thrusts – “crossing borders” and “reinforcing borders – is able to answer to these questions? Instead of marking a sharp discontinuity between inside and outside, the border “works” producing its specific space, time, knowledge and power.


Ethnography, Borders, Egypt, Gaza, Strip.

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