Category Archives:
Gaza

Deir al Balah Rehabilitation Center cares for Gaza’s disabled in the wake of ‘Operation Protective Edge’

Dan Cohen on
Usama Abu Safer helps assemble Mohammed Abu Maghseeb's wheelchair. (Photo: Dan Cohen)

Dan Cohen talks with Usama Abu Safer from Gaza’s Deir al Balah Rehabilitation Center. They met during the final days of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 51-day assault that killed 2,168 Palestinians and injured nearly 11,000. Frequent Israeli violence has raised the rate of disability among more than 1.8 million Palestinians living in Gaza to an astonishing 7.5%. According to the Deir al Balah Rehabilitation Center, 3,000 of the injured in Operation Protective Edge now have permanent physical disabilities, most of which are paraplegia and amputations. Many more suffered permanent hearing loss resulting from explosions

US and Canada strengthen economic relationship with Israel following attack on Gaza

Allison Deger on
Yair Lapid at his party's headquarters in Tel Aviv. (Photo: Edi Israel/Israel Sun)

Since Operation Protective Edge began in Gaza in early July, Israel has strengthened economic relationships with its closest allies. Within days of the air campaign starting, the U.S. and Israel penned a mutual recognition customs agreement which will lift screening barriers and tariffs. Then on Monday Israel cinched a similar Declaration of Intent from Canada, while focusing on the threat of ISIS, Hamas and Hezbolla

Gaza ceasefire proving once again to be part of the ‘occupation game’

Pam Bailey on
Palestinians sit in a tent outside their apartments, which witnesses said were destroyed in an Israeli offensive, during a 72-hour truce in Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip August 11, 2014. (Photo: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

This lukewarm truce in Gaza is part of a long, boringly consistent pattern. A 2009 study that tracked patterns of violence between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza over the course of eight years revealed that unlike what Western mainstream media coverage of the conflict suggests, Israel violates the vast majority of ceasefires first.

Life after a massacre: The story of Ahmed and Mahmoud

Sarah Salibi on
Ahmed Abu Shanab sitting in Al-Quds hospital.

Sarah Salibi talks with two young men in Gaza dealing with the post-traumatic stress of life after ‘Operation Protective Edge’. Ahmed abu Shanab, 17 years old, and Mahmoud Naser, 18, recall the day they were injured. After few days of the Shijaia massacre, the Israeli warplanes and the artillery tanks shelled Al-Shijaia market with several missiles during a ceasefire. The bombing left 17 deaths and 200 injuries. Ahmed and Mahmoud, who after the strike became close friends, were among the injured and are now at Al-Quds hospital receiving treatment

Reborn from the womb of my destroyed house

Dr. Hassan El-Nabih on
The El-Nabih house after it was destroyed with Dr. Hassan El-Nabih inside.

Dr. Hassan El-Nabih shares a harrowing account of being in his Gaza home when Israel destroyed it on August 23, 2014. He writes, “On that day, I horribly experienced death when an Israeli military aircraft destroyed my house. Fortunately, a miracle happened and I was born again from the rubble of my house.”

Giving up on the system: Leading Israeli human rights groups reject army request to file investigations on crimes in Gaza

Allison Deger on
Smoke is seen following what police said was an Israeli air strike in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip July 9, 2014. (PHOTO: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters)

Israel’s leading human rights groups will no longer provide information on solider misconduct to army investigators. After years of delayed military investigations for two Israeli wars in Gaza, the last without any army abuse convictions, the Israeli legal rights group Yesh Din and the human rights organization B’Tselem said, “the military law enforcement system is a complete failure” and is “incapable of conducting professional investigations.”

Three ways Palestinians can hold Israel accountable for Gaza war crimes

Alex Kane on
Palestinians sit in a tent outside their apartments, which witnesses said were destroyed in an Israeli offensive, during a 72-hour truce in Beit Lahiya town in the northern Gaza Strip August 11, 2014. (Photo: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)

Accusations that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza during its latest military operation there have come in hard and fast. But the burning question is whether the Israeli soldiers or commanders responsible for the alleged crimes will be held accountable. The prospects for accountability are slim, but there are three main tools the Palestinians can wield to attempt to put Israel in the dock

Israel has three years to end the occupation — Abbas

Allison Deger on

A leaked transcript of a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashal includes Abbas’s claim that the U.S. has pressured the Palestinian Authority from joining the international criminal court, Abbas’s threats to hand over West Bank to Israel, and Israeli reports of assassination attempts by Hamas.

After ‘Operation Protective Edge': Self-healing in Gaza

Sarah Algherbawi on
A Palestinian returns to his house, which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli offensive, after a ceasefire was declared, in the east of Gaza City August 27, 2014. (Reuters/Suhaib Salem)

Sarah Algherbawi writes about life in Gaza for the survivors of ‘Operation Protective Edge': “The war is over but to the survivors it has merely begun. I was jailed in my house for 50 days, it feels strange to deal with people again, to carry out the routine work we used to do…the simplest aspects of life are the most difficult now. I didn’t experience death. But now, I have the belief that many things can be more painful than death.”

The end of ‘Operation Protective Edge’

Rana Alshami on
My cousins and brothers were happy (Photo: Rana Alshami)

Rana Alshami writes from Gaza: Whatever was going on in Gaza for the past 51 days has finally ended. People can finally breathe, sleep, live! My family and I lived and experienced the worst of times, but we are still alive. We survived. When the official announcement of the ceasefire was finally announce I couldn‘t stop crying! I could not believe this nightmare was about to end soon. I couldn‘t believe I was alive for this moment. I couldn‘t believe I was going to see my parents and relatives again

In Gaza, Palestinians celebrate resistance and credit it with ‘victory’

Yousef Alhelou on

Fifty two days of an-all out aggression on besieged Gaza ended following an Egyptian mediated ceasefire deal on Tuesday. Despite over 2,100 lives lost in Gaza and the destruction of thousands of homes, thousands of Gaza residents took to the streets to celebrate the resistance’s “victory” over Israel. “This ceasefire is no act of generosity from Israel. Do not mistake it for such,” said Nidal Salamah from Gaza City. “This is a victory fought for through resistance, resilience, and strategic calculations.”

The Palestinian message to Israel: Deal with us justly. Or disappear

Jeff Halper on
Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal (Photo: AP)

Until Operation Protective Edge, most of the “messaging” regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certainly that which broke through the mainstream media, came from the Israeli side. That now has changed. Hamas not only confronted the Israeli Occupation but has also seized the political initiative from it. In stark contrast to Abbas, who has declared security cooperation with Israel to be “sacred” and who passively allows Israel to maintain its massive matrix of Israeli highways in the occupied territories spelling the end of the two-state solution, Hamas has sent a clear and forceful message to Israel: We won’t submit even if you kill us. Deal with us justly – or disappear

‘Get me out of the rubble, please, I’m alive’

Ishraq Othman on
Talal's 11-year son standing on the wreckage of Gehad's house

Amid leveled-down houses, on his half-cracked wooden chair, with every sip of his wretched cigarette, a sigh burst. And the flashback of that sore scene with her voice echoing overwhelmed his words which clobbered all languages. His wrinkled face, mingled with melancholy, can deeply be delved into. Prefacing his heartbreaking story with her last words ever,

Ceasefire deal after weeks of fighting in Gaza promises easing of blockade

Alex Kane on
Palestinians look out of their house, which witnesses said was damaged during the Israeli offensive, on the fourth day of a five-day ceasefire in Johr El-Deek village near the central Gaza Strip August 17, 2014. (PHOTO: REUTERS, Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel and the Palestinian armed groups waging war in Gaza for the past seven weeks have inked a cease-fire deal that promises an end to the fighting. While the full terms of the deal have not been released, news outlets are reporting that the agreement includes an easing of the blockade of Gaza and the

‘We want to exchange our personal experiences of war, Sir’

Nazmi Al-Masri on
Children look at the rubble remnants of homes in the town of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (Photo: UNICEF/NYHQ2014-1121/El Baba)

This day is carved in my memory. As all academics in Gaza, I had given much thought to my students who were suffering all sorts of agonies and worries caused by Israel’s aggression. After 40 days of atrocities caused by heavy bombardment and random artillery shelling, which destroyed thousands of houses and devastated countless families, the Islamic

58 Seconds

Annie Robbins on
58 Seconds "Untitled, Mehdi Harzallah / Photographer – (Tunisia)

“In all cases the delay given to the civilian Gaza population is very short. The shortest one was 58 sec.” When I first visited 58 Seconds it felt like I had stepped into a fine arts gallery. With a discerning eye a group of Tunisian photographers launched the website seeking artists’ renderings of the 58 second warning: “When it’s

Salaita’s hire set off fundraising alarm at U of Illinois, per emails to chancellor

Philip Weiss on
Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise (Photo: L. Brian Stauffer)

Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jascik today reports a disturbing development in the Steven Salaita firing case at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Phyllis Wise, the university’s chancellor, was lobbied by 70 pro-Israel folks, including donors, who were upset by Salaita’s comments on twitter about Gaza. The school’s fundraisers were alarmed and sought a meeting with