I still had a problem. Not being Palestinian meant I was required to receive permission from Egypt in order to cross the border at Rafah. After a month of trying to procure permission, I still did not have the necessary document. The Egyptian military, which has been carrying out attacks throughout the Sinai since the coup, now maintains tight control over the region. I was warned that I would be stopped at the first military checkpoint into the Sinai and sent back to Cairo.
In the attempt to arrange permission, I faced a Catch-22 that proved insurmountable. I sent all my documents to the Egyptian consulate in Los Angeles. (This office had been extremely helpful and friendly when I asked for a visa and permission for other trips to Gaza.) After 10 days they called me and told me there was a new policy. I would need to procure security clearance from the U.S. Consulate in Cairo. I had done this on previous trips, it amounted to paying a $50 fee for a notarized piece of paper saying that the U.S. was not responsible for my safety in Gaza and I was going on my own accord. It also noted that I understood that once I entered Gaza the U.S. Consulate would not help me if any issues arose. In the past, the Egyptian consulate provided the visa. This time they told me it would not be possible and returned my paperwork.
Finally, the day before we flew to Jordan, I copied the U.S. Consulate in Cairo and the Egyptian Consulate in the same email and asked why they were both telling me to speak to the other agency. The Egyptian Consulate never responded, but the U.S. Consulate in Cairo emailed: