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.
Category Archives: Gaza
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
A new disturbing report released by UNRWA shows once again the toll the Israeli siege exacts on the Gaza population. For the first time in five decades, the infant mortality rate in Gaza has reversed trend and risen. The UN cites the blockade imposed on the strip as a factor which “may be contributing to the trend”.
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.
18 students in Gaza who were supposed to travel to study in Malaysia, Turkey, Jordan and Germany have been prevented from doing so. Said al-Yacoubi was one of the lucky ones.
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.”
For those trying to read developments between Israel and Gaza over the past weeks, the picture has been unusually puzzling. Does Israel want Hamas weakened or strengthened?
The spirits of the more than 2,000 Palestinians who were killed in Israel’s 50-day military operation against Gaza last summer have been immortalized in the posters that have emerged from the conflict. Catherine Baker from the Palestine Poster Project Archives discusses 10 posters created in response to last summer’s attacks that demonstrate the power with which artists wield their tools to record history, influence the discourse, and effect action.
Five children in the Abu Jarad family were killed, and a family “erased” by an Israeli Apache helicopter attack a year ago. The U.S. funds Israel’s military machine, and insures that there is never accountability for war crimes. A Capitol Hill briefing on July 29 led by the US Campaign to End the Occupation aims to end that immunity.
For months rumors have circulated that Hamas has held two Israeli citizens and the remains of two soldiers captive in the Gaza Strip for almost a year. Following a motion filed by the Israeli daily Haaretz, a gag order concealing the cases was lifted yesterday prompting Israeli officials to addressed the matter publicly for the first time. Israel confirmed Ethiopian-Israeli Avraham Mengitsu, 28, and one other are detained in Gaza, along with the bodies of two soldier killed during the summer war.
Amnesty International (AI) has teamed up with Forensic Architecture of Goldsmiths, University of London, to launching The Gaza Platform, a digital mapping tool that can be used to collate, map, explore and analyze patterns in attacks on Gaza during last summer’s brutal Israeli military offensive against the tiny blockaded enclave.