Haidar Eid writes: The way I look at it is that by allowing Israel to impose this unprecedented blockade on 2 million civilians and launching three massive wars on them in 2008, 2012, and 2014, the post-WWII International Community has failed to uphold principles of justice and peace. It is therefore incumbent on civil society to take the lead. Hence the hope created amongst Palestinians by the huge successes achieved the BDS movement. It is, as I keep repeating, the only window of hope we victims of occupation, apartheid and settler colonialism have in the era of Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu.
Category Archives: Gaza
Maimas is a newly formed Palestinian band based in the besieged Gaza Strip. Palestinian activist, singer and intellectual Haidar Eid says “songs are an organizing tool in the arduous work of overthrowing occupation and apartheid. We hope that our songs will document Palestinian desire to be free from the ravages of colonialism.” The band is currently raising money to record their first album.
Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal on Thursday during talks in Cairo. Reports of the agreement lack specific details on what exactly was agreed upon, with Fatah only officially confirming it will take over control of the Gaza-Egypt border. Ghassan Khatib, a Palestinian political scientist at Birzeit University, tells Mondoweiss the hard work lies ahead. “Inviting the PA to work in Gaza without a full agreement, is nothing more than a trap,” Khatib said.
Mohammed Moussa writes: “On Wednesday, August 29, Gaza woke up to news of the death of Mohanned Younis in the Tel Al-Hawa neighborhood in Gaza City. The 22-year-old short-fiction writer decided to escape this pain-filled place and leave not just his sorrows but also his dreams, ambitions and goals behind. One of the contributing factors to Mohanned’s depression was unique—namely, a total rejection from his father. Yet, like all youth in Gaza, he became despondent over the lack of future prospects while living under siege. And when he took his own life, it was as if we had all failed to survive the disappointment; his death sent ripples throughout the Strip.”
Malak Mattar’s paintings hang on the walls in the homes of her many fans around the world and express, beautifully, the utter misery of life and death in the besieged Gaza Strip. Mattar’s dream was to leave Gaza and attend art school in the U.S. But just when this dream was about to come true it was shattered, this time not by Israel, but by the Palestinian Authority.
“Eid is special”– “and we will tell you why,” say 20-year old bloggers and twin sisters from Gaza City, Asmaa and Saja Khaldi, otherwise known as the “Khaldi twins.” The pair posted a video greeting on Sunday of how they and other Palestinians celebrate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha which occurred over the weekend.
“I chose the situation of the fishermen as the subject of my first exhibition because the Palestinian fishermen are in a constant clash with the occupation authorities, who impose maritime borders that prevent the fishermen from crossing them to do their work”–Khalid Hashem Abu al-Jedian, Palestinian photojournalist, and artist.
Caught between war, siege, and cultural restrictions, teenage girls in Gaza face a future of uncertainly and limitations. “In Gaza, everything is negative. Even if you imagine something beautiful, the buzz of the drones overhead will make you worried,” says Farah Ayyad, 18. “If I stand on the beach at night with my family, we can see the lights from the Israeli city of Ashkelon, of course, they live as they like.”
Gaza’s sea waters are becoming increasingly polluted with raw sewage amid the Strip’s electricity crisis, but swimmers are still diving into the sea. “Our families have been living in this area for 50 years, if we do not swim in the sea, we will not have a break from ruthless mosquito bites along the night.”
Rawan Yaghi meets an Israeli student at Oxford University and is amazed how little she knows about Gaza: “This girl may not deserve my direct sentiments of disgust and anger. But since her comfortable life and her plans in life are made possible by the sheer misery of myself and everyone I know from Gaza and in Gaza at the moment, I could not walk away without feeling like I’ve just met a human that disregards other human beings as less worthy creatures, less worthy of the mere knowledge of their/our existence.”
Majda Tantesh, 42, lives in the Beit Lahia city in the northern Gaza Strip. Like all of Gaza, the city only gets a few hours of electricity a day. After Monday’s Israeli Security Council ruling, approving the Palestinian Authority’s request to cut Gaza’s electricity supply by 40 percent, Majda told Mondoweiss she only expects things to get worse.
Today is the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of what now is called the Palestinian territories. This shameful milestone is being marked with a plethora of pundit commentary about Trump’s potential role, the continuing division among the Palestinian leadership and—in the background—the ever-expanding Israeli settlements, but almost no mention of Gaza. We Are Not Numbers is a project working to break the media blackout of Gaza and is currently raising funds to start Gaza’s first all-youth news agency.
Haidar Eid writes from Gaza that Palestinians there fully understand that the deliberate withholding of food or the means to grow food or the access to food is yet another strategy of Israel’s occupation, colonization, and apartheid in Palestine. But, he writes, “what we in Gaza cannot fathom is: Why it is allowed to happen?”
In the latest tragedy for a well-known Gaza fishing family, Israeli forces have shot and killed Muhammed Majed Bakr, 25, while he was out fishing. Muhammed was the cousin of the four young boys killed in an incident that appalled the world when they were hit by an Israeli naval shell during the 2014 offensive against Gaza.
Ahmed Kabariti reports from Gaza: “Among Palestinians residing in Gaza, the prevailing view of the electricity crisis is that the PA wants control inside of Gaza and is using energy to send a message to Hamas — give up control of Gaza, or you will pay the cost of chaos.”
A poem by Aida Qasim inspired by the electricity crisis in Gaza which leaves some residents without power up to 17 hours at a time.
Raed Nairat, head of the al-Muaser Center for Studies, tells Isra Namy said that Hamas hopes to alleviate its regional isolation and open new doors with the West and other neighboring Arab countries with its new charter: “The new document plays down the relations with the Hamas parent base, the Muslim Brotherhood, in an attempt to detach itself from this organization that is in hot water after the dramatic changes in Egypt and Tunisia, and the obvious hatred of the oil-rich Arab Emirates,” Nairat says. “Hamas looks forward to trying new ways to mend relations with Egypt and the Gulf States since they can assist Hamas to confront its grave and stubborn crisis in the Gaza Strip where Hamas rules.”
Anas Mohammed Jnena, a writer from Gaza with the WeAreNotNumbers campaign wants the world to know Gaza is like any other place in the world and so are its people: “I want the world to know that Palestine has writers, artists, thinkers and, most importantly, lovers. I want to the world to know that we are humans just like you.”
As more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch a hunger strike on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day, Tamam Abusalama recalls the combined 15 years her father spent as a prisoner.
The Lebanese al-Mayadeen news channel published on Monday a leaked new charter for the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip. The charter was allegedly planned be officially released by Khalid Mashaal, the president of the political office of Hamas, at his last press conference before leaving office. The leak has since been confirmed by Hamas official Ahmad Yousif. Mondoweiss obtained the details of the charter released by al-Mayadeen and translated the full text.
Hamas’ new charter was leaked Sunday evening and published by the Lebanese network Al Mayadeen. Toufic Haddad, the author of the book “Palestine Ltd: Neoliberalism and National Liberation in the Occupied Territory,” says the document illustrates the movement’s maturation as a major domestic political actor and responds to broader regional and international trends of sectarianism and the “war on terror” by repeatedly emphasizing Islam and Hamas’ tolerance, moderation and opposition to all forms of oppression, including making a clear distinction between Zionism and Judaism. Haddad writes that in the end, “Hamas’ conservative statist tendency is revealed, as the movement clearly strives to insert itself within the regional order, rather than being a part of fundamentally transforming it.”
On Friday night, Mazen Fuqaha, a senior leader of Hamas’ military wing, the al-Qassam Brigades was gunned down in the Tell al-Hama neighborhood. Gaza’s ministry of interior said in a statement the weapon was a pistol with a silencer, a sure sign of a professional hit and a first in Gaza since Israeli forces withdrew from the Strip. Ahmed Alnouq writes Palestinians in Gaza are wondering if another war is about to break out between Hamas and Israel after two months of an uptick in tensions. Salwa, a law student at Al-Azhar University said she fears war is indeed at Gaza’s door, “I wish I will die before it starts. During war, I psychologically die many times a day.”
No one doubts that Majd Oweida, 23, is brilliant, but it is what he did with his brilliance that is a source of contention between his parents who are advocating for his release from an Israeli prison, and Israel’s security service who have accused him of hacking their drones for Islamic Jihad. Sarah Algherbawi searches for answers. She tracks down a hacker who may or may not be a part of an illicit espionage gang, and takes her investigation to Hamas and those tied to Islamic Jihad. None of them claimed Majd, a local hero of sorts, a Palestinian robot designer and talent scout of the popular program “Palestinians Got Talent.”
Marilyn Garson worked for Mercy Corps and UNRWA in Gaza between 2011 and 2015, where she lived through two wars in four years: “A UN official was quoted as saying that “the world watched in horror.” I felt only bitterness toward the world that did no more than watch.”
Gaza’s first start-up incubator, Gaza Sky Geeks, has announced an open call for businesses, organizations, and individuals to submit their project ideas and coders in Gaza will build them for free.