The Gaza Strip is famous for its strawberries, which used to be exported all around Israel, Palestine, and the world. But as a result of Israel’s blockade on Gaza, which is entering its 12th year this year, strawberry farming is dying out.
Category Archives: Gaza
Walaa Al Ghussein writes about why she is crowd sourcing to raise funds for her tuition, “You’d think someone who grew surrounded by war could survive anything, but the pressure of being a foreign student from Gaza in a place like the United States should not be underestimated.”
Haidar Eid writes from Gaza on the 10th anniversary of Operation Cast Lead: “In 2009, we argued that Gaza 2009, like the Sharpeville 1960 massacre, cannot be ignored. It demands a response from all who believe in a common humanity. We never thought that we would witness worse massacres! Now is the time to boycott the Apartheid Israeli state, to divest from its economy and to impose sanctions against it. It is high time that the world imposes a military embargo on Israel the same way it did against the apartheid regime of South Africa.”
On December 22, 2018, the 39th week of the Great March of Return, anti-Zionist Israeli activists joined Palestinian protestors at Khuza’a Return protest camp from the east side of the fence. Soldiers shot live rounds to prevent the activists from reaching the fence. Despite the military’s aggression, a phone conversation was held with Sabrine al-Najjar, the mother of Razan al-Najjar. She recognized the BDS movement as a positive factor in ending the occupation and contributing to the Palestinian cause of freedom and equality.
Israel and the United States take turns following in each other’s footsteps in many unpleasant ways, ranging from the treatment of hunger-striking prisoners to the militarization of domestic police forces. Another recent example came to light Nov. 11, when Israeli special forces were caught deep inside the Gaza Strip, impersonating employees of a respected local NGO that assists the burgeoning number of Palestinians with disabilities in the wake of three military offensives and ongoing border protests.
The UN warns Gaza is showing early warning signs of a coming “unprecedented” humanitarian crisis, Israel is still mulling the death penalty, and the World Health Organization examines Palestinians rights to health under the Israeli occupation in this edition of JVP’s month health advisory.
Sarah Algherbawi writes about becoming a first-time mother in Gaza and dealing with the anxiety of knowing she will be raising her child in an area the United Nations warns will be “uninhabitable” by 2020. When she talks with other young parents she finds out that they share her anxiety, and many are considering leaving Gaza.
Jonathan Cook writes Netanyahu has an incentive to bolster Hamas with a ceasefire, “so it can keep a lid on the protests than face an international backlash and demands that he negotiate with the Palestinians.”
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports on water & sanitation crisis in Gaza, increase in Israeli settler violence. “97 per cent of ground water extracted in Gaza is unfit for human consumption, generating the risk of a waterborne disease outbreak.”
A ceasefire was brokered by Egypt late Tuesday, prompting some residents in Gaza to protest the truce in the evening hours.
“I fell asleep early Monday night and about 20 minutes into my sleep everything turned into massive chaos mixed with my brother-in-law loudly screaming,” Suhair said who shares a flat with her six children, “I rushed to my children’s bedrooms to check if they were alive.”
Palestinians are still demonstrating along the Gaza-Israel border on Fridays, but in fewer numbers and with less fury than seen in recent months as Egyptian mediators work to lessen confrontations along the fence. Ahmad Kabariti asks Palestinians in Gaza if they believe the protest should be suspended in exchange for an easing of the blockade.
Haidar Eid writes from Gaza: “As we, Palestinians of Gaza, embark on our long walk to freedom, we have come to the conclusion that we can no longer rely on governments; instead, we request that the citizens of the world oppose these ongoing deadly crimes. In fact, we expect people of conscience and civil society organizations to put pressure on their governments until Israel is forced to abide by international law and international humanitarian law. It did work last century; without the intervention of the international community which was effective against apartheid in South Africa, Israel will continue its war crimes and crimes against humanity.”
Yesterday Israeli forces shot Aed Abu Amro in the leg, the Palestinian protester from the Gaza Strip who reached internet infamy after photographer for Anadolu Agency Mustafa Hassouna captured a shirtless Abu Amro gripping a Palestinian flag firmly in one hand and a slingshot in the other during a protest at the fence that divides the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Shahd Abusalama writes, “Palestinians’ legitimate claims continue to be silenced at the expense of sustaining Israel’s longstanding myths of being the safe haven for world Jewry and a democracy with the world’s most moral army. As if we are not as worthy as the children of Holocaust survivors of freedom, security, justice and dignity.”
Human Rights Watch reports arbitrary detention and systematic abuse in Palestinian jails, prisons and interrogation sites across the West Bank and Gaza.
Young Palestinians often describe their upbringing in the Gaza Strip as serving a sentence in “the world’s largest open-air prison,” and see themselves as trapped between Israel’s refusal to support Palestinian statehood, and an international community willing to look the other way. Ahmad Kabariti talks with young Palestinians in Gaza about what it means to grow up and be stuck living under siege.
The moment long feared is fast approaching in Gaza, according to a new report by the World Bank. After a decade-long Israeli blockade and a series of large-scale military assaults, the economy of the tiny coastal enclave is in “freefall”.
Friday marked one of the deadliest days at the fence that divides the Gaza Strip from Israel since protests began in Gaza last March, as Israeli forced killed seven including two children.
Marilyn Garson writes that a new World Bank report that describes Gaza’s economy as in “free fall”, is a bitter choice of words. Gaza did not fall, it was pushed. “In Gaza, one always fears that new losses will become the new normal. The report’s annex validates that fear,” Garson writes.
Given recent history, it is surprising Israel has not invaded Gaza again. Previous massive Israeli ground attacks, in 2008, 2012 and 2014, required fewer pretexts than we see today with the success of the Great March of Return. But Israel’s ground forces stay put. Two respected analysts of Israel’s military explain why: the Hamas resistance movement has prepared strong defenses inside Gaza that have raised the costs of an invasion above an acceptable level.
Earlier this month, health officials in Gaza announced that they would be stopping chemotherapy treatments for cancer patients due to a shortage of medicine. As a result, the lives of thousands of cancer patients were thrown into uncertainty. Doctors, rights groups, and the patients themselves have pointed chiefly to the more than decade-long Israeli blockade of Gaza as a reason for the shortages.
According to multiple reports, in early September the Trump administration will issue a report recognizing no more than half a million Palestinian refugees, will reject any right of return, and ominously will ask Israel to ‘reconsider’ UNRWA’s mandate to operate in the West Bank. Marilyn Garson writes, “Trump and those around him have spent the year trying to obviate – rather than solve – Palestinian claims. Now they wish to deny the refugee status of 90% of Palestinians. If Trump has his way, only a few elderly refugees will remain. The Right of Return will be moot. It would not exist now, he says, if UNRWA didn’t keep it alive. He will make the right disappear by de-funding UNRWA and de-registering its five million phantom refugees. The realization of Palestinian rights may be a marathon, but right now, it is also a sprint. The race is on, to be made to vanish or to be seen and heard.”
Israel’s High Court overturned on Sunday evening the security cabinet’s previous decision to prevent five Palestinian women, mostly cancer patients, from Gaza from receiving life-saving treatment in occupied East Jerusalem on the basis that the women had relatives that were active in the Hamas movement. The court ruled that “the decision to deny Gaza patients access to medical treatment as means of leverage over Hamas was ineffective and illegal.”
Earlier this month, Israeli forces bombed the Said Mish’al Center for Culture and Science in Gaza to the ground, claiming it was being used by Hamas for military operations. The center was beloved among Gazans and thousands of Palestinians mourned the destruction of the center, which had survived three Israeli offensives over the past decade. As Center Director Sameer Mish’al told Mondoweiss, “The occupation has always tried to stifle the voice of the Palestinian people. This place was like a beam of light. Through our work, we protected our culture.”