Palestinian protesters try to cut the border fence between Israel and the Gaza strip, east of Gaza City, under the look of Israeli forces during a demonstration on May 25, 2018. (AFP / MOHAMMED ABED)
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Just after daybreak, Hamed al-Shaer came down the narrow stairway of his family's home in southern Gaza pulling a black suitcase and said goodbye to his mother.Egypt has opened Rafah for the duration of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, temporarily easing a border blockade of Gaza that it has enforced, along with Israel, for the past 11 years.Most Gaza residents can't travel at all under the strict blockade imposed after the Islamic militant Hamas group seized the territory in 2007 .In recent weeks, anti-blockade protests on the Gaza-Israel border -- organized by Hamas, but driven by the despair of Gaza's residents -- have drawn new attention to the hardships faced by Gaza's 2 million people.The crippling blockade has robbed Gaza residents of any chance to chart their lives.Al-Shaer comes from a typical Gaza family where those who are able to leave seek their fortunes abroad. Three of his brothers work in Saudi Arabia and one in Bahrain. He left Gaza in 2005, before the blockade, settling in the Saudi capital of Riyadh. When al-Shaer first registered on the Gaza Interior Ministry's waiting list in November, he was told that it would take more than a year to leave Gaza.
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