Hakim Zughbor and Falastin Tanani have been unable to find work in a Gaza economy devastated by siege but are not letting that prevent them from beginning their lives together. Hakim and Falastin have started a crowdfunding campaign to raise enough money for their wedding, an unusual step in the Gaza Strip, where tradition and conservatism rule. But in a place where electricity comes on two hours per day and salt water comes out of the sink, Gaza’s residents have turned to unorthodox ways of accomplishing their goals.
Category Archives: Gaza
John Soos traveled to Gaza with a delegation from Physicians for Social Responsibility to address the secondary trauma that mental health professionals there are struggling with. He writes, “Post traumatic stress disorder, as a clinical term, barely touches the enormity of the disabling psychological distress that permeates the reality of daily life here. There is nothing ‘post’ about a continual, unrelenting, multifaceted catastrophe.”
For Ahmed Jaber, the new year has brought nothing special to his cramped house which he shares with his parents and other seven siblings. 2016 has started in Gaza in abysmal darkness as the power crisis has worsened, putting nearly all facets of life into serious danger. “What does it mean to celebrate the New Year,” Ahmed asks. “The word celebration does not even exist in our terminology; it is a very luxurious expression which has no place in Gaza”.
Israeli forces opened fire at different fronts on the Gaza boundary fence today, killing two young Palestinians during today’s clashes. Ashraf al-Qidra, the spokesman of Gaza’s Ministry of Health said that Mohammed Qeita, a 26-year old protester, was shot in his abdomen by Israeli live bullets. Less than two hours later, medics confirmed that Mohammed Abu-Zayed, 19, was also killed, shot in his head and neck. According to witness testimonies, Israeli snipers picked off the two protesters without prior warning.
A first-hand report from Gaza refutes Netanyahu’s dishonest talking point; Hamas is not ISIS, but in fact its bitter enemy.
An emergency report published by he UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) revealed that 47% of Palestinian households in the Gaza Strip were food insecure in 2014.
Up and down the Gaza Strip thousands of families are experiencing winter in freezing conditions, some living in makeshift homes and others in what remains of their homes after Israel’s deadly assault on the besieged Strip. Reconstruction efforts from last year’s war remain stalled despite promises made by Arab nations such as Qatar, United Arab Emirates and others to provide funds. Suad Najar, mother to eight children, says, “I have no idea how long I have to live like this. I can’t see an end right now.”
Since Israel began withholding funds to the Gaza Strip following the Hamas victory in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election, the payment of Gaza public sector employees has been a bone of contention between the rival Palestinian parties and a driver of internal unrest in the Gaza Strip. Despite promises from the national consensus government, more than 50,000 government workers in Gaza have not received their regular salaries since early 2013. Now, as anger is rising, Hamas is proposing a solution that is already proving controversial.
Khaled Al-Ostath is an avid reader, but because he lives in Gaza he is not able to find books to read. He writes, “I yearn to have a decent library in Gaza and for a good environment in which to read. Is this too much to hope?”
‘At night he comes to me and asks, “Why did you kill me?” former Israeli soldier Ido Gal Razon, now suffering from PTSD, tells an Israeli government committee about killing 40 people in Gaza 7 years ago
The Egyptian government has destroyed 80% of the tunnels bringing goods into Gaza which has led to an environmental and economic disaster. “They are waging a tireless war on our livelihoods. I wonder what harms them when the Palestinian citizen in Gaza is able to feed his family by what he earns in meager wages from the tunnels work?” asks 24-year-old Adham Okbi.
Miakoda Wolin-Collins shares her experience traveling in Gaza and the harassment she experienced when leaving Israel/Palestine through the Ben Gurion Airport.
Isra Saleh El-Namy reports from TEDx Shujaiya, a recent event in Gaza organized independently as part of the popular TED conference series. Organizer Heba Madi says, “It is really a golden opportunity, and a great honor to have this prestigious and international program in a Palestinian flavor. We wanted to prove to the whole world that people in Gaza deserve to live in dignity.”
On Friday, October 16th, Israeli soldiers again opened fire across the Gaza border on Palestinian youth demonstrators. Amid the chaos, some protesters came across a leaking freshwater pipe and were able to quench their thirst. Even though they quickly realized a tear gas canister fired by Israeli soldiers was floating in the water, some were undeterred by the presence of noxious chemicals and drank the water anyway. Dan Cohen says that while this video is not the most shocking piece of footage he captured that day, it might be the most instructive.
Mohammed Alhammami shares the conversation he would like to have with an Israeli soldier who does not understand why Palestinians would be upset. The answer can be explained in one word: “occupation.”
Sarah Algherbawi reflects on a devastating photo of Yahya Hassan and his son Mohammed, who survived an Israeli missile attack on their Gaza home which killed two other members of the Hassan family.
The scene in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis was very tense Sunday as thousands of angry protesters carried the coffins of two children who were killed Saturday evening at a protest at the city’s border fence. The protesters demanded a swift Palestinian answer to the killing of the young boys.
Israeli F-16 strikes destroyed a house in the Mughraga area of Gaza overnight, killing five-months-pregnant Nour Hassan, 27, her two-year-old daughter Rahaf, and injuring her husband Yahya and their toddler son. All that remains of the house is a massive blast hole several meters deep and twenty meters wide amid scattered bits of clothing and personal belongings.
Youth in Gaza have begun marching to the borders to express solidarity with Palestinians protesting in the West Bank and inside Israel, as well as out of frustration with the ongoing Israeli siege. Dan Cohen reports from Gaza where yesterday, Israeli soldiers clad in full combat gear shot protestors and occasionally fired tear gas canisters into the crowd of an estimated 1,000 young men and boys, killing seven and injuring 145 along Gaza’s border area.
Dan Cohen reports from Gaza where on September 13th, the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Israeli government closed the border crossing to the besieged Gaza Strip, exacerbating existing fuel shortages into a full-on crisis. Since then, cars have been lined up around city blocks to obtain small amounts of fuel – only enough for a day of work. With unemployment in Gaza at a staggering 60%, many of the taxi drivers are men who took the job as a last resort and means of survival. But the fuel crisis has taken away taxi driving and frustration is high.
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.
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.