When Nidal Alareer, a 40-year-old father of five returned to Shujaiya after Israel’s 51-day war on Gaza, he found all three of his houses destroyed. Though promises of reconstruction have proven to be hollow, his family was able to obtain materials to rebuild their home from the Qatari government. But the labor is back-breaking and until he and his young sons finish reconstruction, his family is scattered about Gaza with no money to rent apartments. Dan Cohen spoke with Alareer as he worked on his house during Eid al Adha.
Category Archives: Gaza
Isra Saleh El-Namy describes how her family celebrates Eid al-Adha in Gaza and what the holiday means to the besieged strip a year after the war with Israel. 8 year old Yazzan tells her “I wanted to seize every moment to play to have fun with my friends. I want to compensate what I have missed during last year Eid.”
Too much idle time, too many memories of too many wars and scholarships lost due to the blockade have triggered a collective depression in Gaza.
On a recent September evening, two groups of culturally curious people, separated by countries and borders, virtually gathered together for art and social justice. At Said Al-Mishal Establishment for Culture and Science, Gaza’s Theatre for Everybody performed a short version of Tolstoy’s classic “War and Peace.” Simultaneously, on the other side of the world at London’s Az Theatre, a group of British and international supporters gathered to watch a previously recorded version of the same performance. The play was centered on two themes: condemning war and denouncing dictatorship.
Isra Saleh El-Namy reports from Rafah where Palestinians are still recovering from the Israeli onslaught known as “Black Friday” a year ago when the IDF laid waste to southern Gaza following the capture of an IDF soldier.
Ma’an and MEMO report: The healthcare system in the Gaza Strip is on the verge of collapse, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said Monday, warning that hospitals could stop operating within hours due to the territory’s energy crisis. Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesperson for the ministry, said that “Shifa Hospital, Kamal Adwan hospital, the European Gaza Hospital, and Rantisi Hospital could stop offering services because they are about to run out of fuel.” The Ministry holds the national unity government accountable for any harm that may befall their patients due to “the government’s lack of responsibility.”
Robert Ross reports from a recent trip to Gaza: “Indeed, despite 12 months of relative peace, Gazans are still enduring the aftermath of three Israeli wars in the past six years, an ongoing Israeli and Egyptian imposed blockade, a crippled economy, and internal political strife. “Everyone here—100 percent of the people—are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder,” Hamza said. Just moments earlier, he and his brother instinctively ducked their heads upon hearing a nearby firework explode. This sentiment was echoed numerous times by the doctors, public health officials, journalists, artists, and aid workers I spoke with throughout my visit to Gaza.”
Egypt recently opened the Rafah crossing with Gaza for four days; the first time it had been open in over two months. Isra Saleh El-Namy interviews people trying to leave Gaza through Rafah, including families trying to receive medical treatment, students attempting to return to school and workers hoping to return to jobs. Suhaib Sameh, a university student who had been stranded in Gaza says, “I started to feel as if I am living in a nightmare.”
Mohammed Fares Al Majdalawi writes about his friend Ali Abu Afash, who was killed by an unexploded Israeli missile last summer in Gaza: “Ali, you were killed by a missile but you still live in my mind and heart. I will continue fight for freedom and defend journalists’ rights, and in this way your work and journalistic spirit will continue.”
A new disturbing report released by UNRWA shows once again the toll the Israeli siege exacts on the Gaza population. For the first time in five decades, the infant mortality rate in Gaza has reversed trend and risen. The UN cites the blockade imposed on the strip as a factor which “may be contributing to the trend”.
Isra Saleh El-Namy talks with Gaza families who are finally having their homes rebuilt after being destroyed by Israel over a year ago. “The news is good, but politics here taught us to wait for deeds before listening to ornate speeches, ” says Ahmed Qdeeh.
18 students in Gaza who were supposed to travel to study in Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan and Germany have been prevented from doing so. Said al-Yacoubi was one of the lucky ones.
Shrouq El-Eila from the We Are Not Numbers project writes about Gaza musicians Ghada Shoman, 20, and her brother Mohammed, 16. “Now my voice and my brother’s guitar are our ‘weapons,’” Ghada says. “During the last offensive on Gaza (in the summer of 2014), the resistance was inspired by national songs of bravery and a vision of future freedom. And now, so are we.”
For those trying to read developments between Israel and Gaza over the past weeks, the picture has been unusually puzzling. Does Israel want Hamas weakened or strengthened?
The spirits of the more than 2,000 Palestinians who were killed in Israel’s 50-day military operation against Gaza last summer have been immortalized in the posters that have emerged from the conflict. Catherine Baker from the Palestine Poster Project Archives discusses 10 posters created in response to last summer’s attacks that demonstrate the power with which artists wield their tools to record history, influence the discourse, and effect action.
Five children in the Abu Jarad family were killed, and a family “erased” by an Israeli Apache helicopter attack a year ago. The U.S. funds Israel’s military machine, and insures that there is never accountability for war crimes. A Capitol Hill briefing on July 29 led by the US Campaign to End the Occupation aims to end that immunity.
For months rumors have circulated that Hamas has held two Israeli citizens and the remains of two soldiers captive in the Gaza Strip for almost a year. Following a motion filed by the Israeli daily Haaretz, a gag order concealing the cases was lifted yesterday prompting Israeli officials to addressed the matter publicly for the first time. Israel confirmed Ethiopian-Israeli Avraham Mengitsu, 28, and one other are detained in Gaza, along with the bodies of two soldier killed during the summer war.
Amnesty International (AI) has teamed up with Forensic Architecture of Goldsmiths, University of London, to launching The Gaza Platform, a digital mapping tool that can be used to collate, map, explore and analyze patterns in attacks on Gaza during last summer’s brutal Israeli military offensive against the tiny blockaded enclave.
As attendees sipped lattes and browsed the latest intelligence technology for sale last week at a Tel Aviv defense conference, Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Transportation Yisrael Katz shared plans to build an Israeli-controlled island off the coast of Gaza as a way for Israel to “disengage” from the embattled strip while maintaining the eight-year-siege.
In the course of fifty-one dark days last summer, nearly 2,200 Palestinians were killed in Gaza; about a quarter of them were children, many of whom were deliberately targeted during Israeli ‘Operation Protective Edge’. Read the introduction to the new book ‘Gaza Unsilenced’ edited by Refaat Alareer and Laila El-Haddad which seeks to share an accurate and humanistic narration of the Palestinian story that is Gaza.
Every Monday, Palestinians in Nuseirat refugee camp rummage through piles of secondhand Israeli junk in the cheapest market in the Gaza Strip. Dan Cohen finds several t-shirts that include military insignia for the army that slaughtered so many in Gaza.
Palestinian leaders seek to charge Israel with the crime of “Apartheid,” and 22 other charges including seven war crimes, according to Shawan Jabarin, the director of the Palestinian human rights group Al Haq. The thick set documents were ceremoniously handed over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) today at headquarters in The Hague, yet yesterday morning Jabarin was given exclusive access to the report in Ramallah.
The Palestine News Network announced this week that the suicide rate in the Occupied Territories jumped 68.4 percent last year. In Gaza, Al-Shifa Hospital said that at least one person attempted suicide every day. Gaza writer Anas Jnena shares one story of an attempted suicide in the besieged Gaza Strip that helps sheds light on the statistics.
The 51-day summer war between Hamas and Israel was not only “heartbreaking,” but rampant with “possible war crimes” according to a much anticipated United Nations report published Monday. Investigators conducted nearly 300 interviews over the past year. All took place outside of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, as Israel denied entry to the researchers. Witnesses and victims—both Israeli and Palestinian—gave testimonies about the targeting of civilians, medical facilities and United Nations shelters, along with the existence of human shields (and the lack thereof), collective punishment, and the proportionality of the attacks.
The UN Human Rights Commission report on last summer’s Gaza war is inappropriately “balanced.” It is more or less equally critical of Israeli and Hamas actions, without regard to the differences between the vast and horrific extent of civilian destruction caused by Israel and the far lesser civilian deaths and destruction that resulted from the largely ineffective Hamas attacks. –Scholar Jerome Slater