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Egypt’s destruction of Gaza tunnels leading to economic and environmental disaster

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
A worker inside a Gaza tunnel which was partially destroyed by Egypt. (Photo: Isra Saleh El-Namy)

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.

Gaza shares ‘ideas worth spreading’ at TEDx Shujaiya

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
TEDx Shujaiya

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.”

Video: Even the water flows with tear gas in Gaza

Dan Cohen on

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.

A photo tells the Hassan family’s story of loss

Sarah Algherbawi on
GAZA CITY, GAZA - OCTOBER 11: Palestinian father Yahya Hassan (R) holds his son Ahmed Hassan's hand as they wait to receive treatment at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, Gaza on October 11, 2015 after Israeli forces carried out an airstrike on a house in Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City. (Mustafa Hassona - Anadolu Agency)

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.

Mourners of Gaza mother and child killed in airstrike urge resistance– ‘3rd, 4th, 5th intifada, whatever it takes’

Dan Cohen on
The blast hole where the Hassan house in Gaza was bombed by Israeli warplanes, photo by Dan Cohen

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.

Video: Israeli forces open fire on Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza killing seven

Dan Cohen on

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.

Scenes from the Gaza fuel crisis

Dan Cohen on

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.

Eid in the rubble

Dan Cohen on

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.

Celebrating Eid al-Adha in Gaza

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
The author visiting cousins 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.”

Tolstoy’s War and Peace . . . and Palestine

Mohammed Alhammami on
A scene from War and Peace (Photo: Mohammed Sarsour)

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.

Gaza Ministry of Health: Hospitals on the verge of collapse

Kate on
Palestinian physician Allam Nayef checks the report of a patient in the ICU at the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, July 19, 2014, where the power goes off repeatedly under daily rolling blackouts and many items are in short supply. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

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.”

One year later, Gaza is still in crisis

Robert Ross on
Gaza, Summer 2015. (Photo: Robert Ross)

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.”

Palestinians struggle to leave Gaza as Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
Waiting at the Rafah Crossing. (Photo: Isra Saleh El-Namy)

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.”

In memory of Ali Abu Afash

Mohammed Fares Al Majdalawi on
Ali Abu Afash

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.”

Gaza reconstruction finally begins over a year after Israeli attack

Isra Saleh El-Namy on
Palestinian workers rebuild a house which was destroyed during the last summer's war between Israel and Hamas, as the long-awaited reconstruction began in Shijaiyah neighborhood eastern Gaza City on Thursday, July 23, 2015. (Photo: AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

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.

This is Gaza too: Bullet songs

Shrouq El-Aila on
(Photo: Hosam Salem)

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.”