Postcard: Gaza

A border wall with Egypt is breached, giving many Palestinians a brief taste of life without the Israeli blockade. Cruising for camels, candy and health care in Sinai

Karim Ben Khelifa / Oeil Public for TIME

A Gazan returns from a trip into Egypt after the border wall was breached

Amran Lubbad lay sleepless in Gaza early in the morning of Jan. 23. Lubbad, a darkly handsome Palestinian, was going to be united with Hiba, his fiancé in Egypt. He had treated himself to a sharp new haircut. The pair have been engaged for two years, but Israel and Egypt sealed off the border with Gaza in early 2006, and Hiba was trapped on the other side. At last, Lubbad had scraped together $1,500 to smuggle her through a sandy tunnel under the border fence.

It was a huge risk: tunnels at the Rafah crossing often cave in. At other times,...

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