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.”
Category Archives: Gaza
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.
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 way to produce concrete from the 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 through the Israeli blockade.
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 17-year-old Ahmad Hassan Shubeir 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, “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.”
Every year, Palestinians in Gaza march to protest the Israeli shooting of Mohammed al-Dura which marked the beginning of the second intifada in the Gaza Strip on September 29, 2000. At the end of September photographer Mohammed Asad documented young protesters as they entered the buffer zone with Israel near al-Bureij refugee camp to challenge the Israeli military. “We came here to prove to the Israeli occupying forces that the memory of the uprising is unforgettable,” said demonstrator Abu Falasteen.
Music education is not common in Gaza but now nearly 190 eager students are attending the Gaza Music School, which was established in 2008 as part of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music. Many hope to use their instruments to escape from the turbulent situation in the besieged Gaza Strip.
If you had to sum up life in six words, what would you write? Here’s what Palestinian refugees are saying.
News of a possible rapprochement between Egypt and the Gaza Strip is welcomed by the Palestinian population of the besieged territory. While one motivation for the Egyptian shift may be economic, analysts in Gaza believe that Abdel-Fatah el-Sisi’s government may be seeking to undermine Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas as well.
Surfing enthusiasts in Gaza hope to meet other surfers from around the world and participate in global competitions, but Israeli travel restrictions prevent them from leaving the besieged strip. Israel also bans the fiberglass material needed for surfboards, which makes the sport difficult.
Hiba Anis Mustafa Shurafa guides students in her Gaza classroom, instructing them on the art of how to hold a pen and keep a steady hand when writing out letters. She understands the task is challenging because, like her students, Shurafa has Down syndrome.
Israa Suliman writes from Gaza to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe: “Although we are of different color, religion, culture and place, I have learned, as I read about the protests at Standing Rock, that we have much more in common than differences. When I read your history, I can see myself and my people reflected in yours. I feel in my core that your fight is my fight, and that I am not alone in the battle against injustice.”