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.
Category Archives: Gaza
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.
An Najah National University professor Raed Nairat 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. “Being a former prisoner’s daughter has instilled in me an unstoppable determination to break all borders and limits. I struggle against everything that violates my freedom and that of my people.”
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 to be officially released by Khalid Mashaal, the president of the political office of Hamas, at his last press conference before leaving office. The document 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.”
“On the first night of the bombing, the Israeli navy shelled Beach Camp to the north, firing explosives into a thickly populated refugee camp that had no weapons to return fire. A few blocks inland, members of my team taught their children to dance to the peculiar backbeat of naval fire, to distract them from their fear. The colleagues living nearest me wanted to leave their families, to pick me up and shelter me in their homes,” writes Marilyn Garson, who worked for Mercy Corps and UNRWA in Gaza between 2011 and 2015, where she lived through two wars. Read her incredible memoir of that tumultuous time, which included her coming to understand her connection to Judaism while under fire from Israeli warplanes.
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.
On March 8, women in Gaza marked International Women’s Day along with their counterparts in the countries across the globe. But in Gaza, International Women’s Day is less of a celebration and more of a harsh and painful reminder of three wars in the last decade, and years of siege. Laila Qarmout, 57, a member of the General Union of Palestinian Women said: “Women are indoctrinated from the age of five to see ourselves as less than our brothers or less than our husbands. Despite this, we have struggled a lot against the world’s only long-running occupation. Women know too well the iniquity of repression.”
Palestinian barber Ramadan Edwan styles hair with fire in Gaza. Power shortages prevent him from using a blow dryer.
An all-female team of engineers in Gaza have invented an affordable new way to produce concrete, made from the leftover rubble of homes destroyed during the last war in Gaza. The women aspire to create a needed alternative to the expensive and time-consuming process of importing construction materials into Gaza by relying mostly on recycled materials.
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered at the Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt over the weekend, waiting for their turn to be let through the checkpoint. The three-day opening allowed medical patients, students, and travelers with foreign passports to cross. With huge numbers of Palestinians desperate to leave Gaza, travelers typically pay an exorbitant amount of money to local brokers who coordinate their passage with Egyptian authorities. It’s been reported previously that Egyptian authorities ask for bribes of up to $10,000. Mondoweiss spoke with some hopeful travelers about their experience trying to get across the border from Gaza to Egypt while they waited in line.
Five years ago the United Nations made a shocking declaration about the future of the Gaza strip: it will no longer be “a liveable place” by the year 2020. How do the people of Gaza respond to these warnings? “The international community always states there is a crisis in Gaza and then raises alarming statements. We were afraid in the past, but today people have become more cold-hearted,” said Adnan Abu Shamala, 87, a scrap vendor in a Gaza city bazaar. “I was in Amman four years ago where people were laughing loudly in every coffee shop. I met people there and I told them that I have not even smiled since six years due to the bitter life in my homeland.”
The al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reports that Ahmad Hassan Shubeir, a 17-year-old from Gaza City, died of a congenital heart defect after refusing to serve as a collaborator for Israel in exchange for a travel permit to receive medical care.
Majed Abusalama writes, “I am not sorry for the language. I am very tired of Israel and I proudly say, again and again: Fuck the Occupation. I also know that since Hamas came to power by being democratically elected in 2006, the international community rejected democracy and refused to deal with them. Then some Fatah leaders, these so-called ‘socialists’ and ‘seculars’, used this opportunity to limit Hamas’ power which created greater tension in our country, resulting in Hamas’ military factions expelling the PA/Fateh from Gaza. And that’s the short version. I love the people of Gaza. I love them more than Hamas and Fateh love them. No human deserves to live like the people of Gaza.”
The two generators of Gaza’s sole power plant stopped operating Jan. 6 due to a severe fuel shortage. For most residents, that means most areas are receiving power for a mere three hours in between 12-hour blackouts. Who and what is to blame is a subject of many dark jokes and frustration—sometimes breaking into protests and arrests. Most residents in Gaza, however, place a large share of the blame on feuding political leaders.
Photojournalist Mohammed Asad sends photos from New Year’s eve in Gaza.
Haidar Eid writes from Gaza, “The entire world is against Israel, but how are we, Palestinians, going to build on that? The answer comes loud and clear from the Palestinian-lead BDS Campaign: a total boycott against Israel and divestment from it and from foreign companies benefitting from its multi-tiered system of oppression, namely occupation, colonization and apartheid, and the imposition of sanctions against it until it complies with international law. In a nutshell, what we, Palestinians, need right now is a diplomacy of resistance.”