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‘We thirst for dignity’: Gaza marks Great March of Return anniversary

Ahmad Kabariti on

Human waves flooded the Israel-Gaza fence beginning Saturday morning marking the first anniversary of the Great March of Return protests, facing off against Israeli forces behind the fortified barbed-wire fence. The demonstrators gathered despite rain, and even as Egypt is seeking to mediate a deal to end the blockade of Gaza.

On the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return

Haidar Eid on
A Palestinian youth protesting as part of the Great March of Return in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on March 30, 2019.

Haidar Eid writes about the Great March of Return: “The reason as to why Israel is very concerned about the Great March of Return — which began on March 30, 2018 and has not yet ended – is that it has shuffled the cards and brought crucial questions to the fore regarding the essence of the Palestinian cause as well as the status of the Gaza Strip. Despite the bleak reality of life in Gaza a new consciousness is emerging.”

A journalist’s memoir of covering the Great March of Return

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh on
A Palestinian man waves a Palestine flag ahead of the beginning of the Great March of Return protests on March 29, 2018. (Photo: Ashraf Amra/ APA Images)

Hamza Abu Al-Tarabeesh reflects on covering the first year of the Great March of Return protests. He writes, “After covering nearly 50 Fridays over the past year, I can’t be more grateful that I’m still alive and did not suffer serious injury.”

Palestinians rush to stock up on food as Israeli airstrikes light up Gaza

Ahmad Kabariti on

Ahmad Kabariti reports from Gaza that long spontaneous queues of people spent the night waiting outside of Gaza’s biggest bakery to buy bread, a scene that usually occurs during war. Muzaffar Batniji, 27, shoemaker, said that his family urged him to buy 200 loaves of pita bread, “just in case of this escalation might continue for a week or more.”

Gaza rehearses for 1 million at the fence next week, as Israel kills two more men

Ahmad Kabariti on
Demonstrators headed to the Gaza fence, March 22, 2019. (Photo: Mohammed Asad)

Israel topped the Gaza fence with 10 added feet of barbed wire in anticipation of the million demonstrators called to mark the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return next week. Despite the added fence, soldiers killed two Palestinian men at demonstrations yesterday, bringing the number of dead to 257.

As Gaza’s Great March of Return approaches one-year, protest founder Ahmed Abu Artema discusses building a non-violent movement

Allison Deger on
Palestinian activist Ahmed Abu Artema, 34, in Washington DC, Monday March 18, 2019. (Photo: Allison Deger)

It all started because of a bird. Ahmed Abu Artema, the unlikely leader of the largest popular Palestinian movement in decades, strode beside the separation fence that divides his home in the Gaza Strip from Israel on a January evening last year.  At twilight he saw birds fly overhead, soaring past the fence “and no one stopped them.” Abu Artema talks with Allison Deger about life in Gaza and the enduring power of the Great March of Return: “Our demands were simple and honorable, we want to return, we want a dignified life”

Gaza cancels 51st weekly protest after a tumultuous night of attacks

Ahmad Kabariti on

After rockets fired from Gaza landed near Tel Aviv Friday morning, Israel launched 100 raids on the enclave. And the organizers of the Great March of Return suspended the demonstrations in their 51st week out of concern for safety of protesters.

Gaza the crucible

Helena Cobban on

The Gaza protests will mark their one-year anniversary in 2 weeks, with real political potential for the Palestinian struggle. Gaza has always been a crucible for political movements in part because its population has such a high percentage of refugees of the Nakba in 1948. Helena Cobban traces the history.

UN Human Rights Council indicts Israel’s human rights violations in Gaza — and the ‘NY Times’ buries the report

James North on

The United Nations Human Rights Council just issued a damning report that said Israel may have committed crimes against humanity during the Great March of Return in Gaza last year. Although U.N. investigators charged Israel with far worse crimes than anything that the government of Venezuela has been accused of, the New York Times coverage of the South American nation has been considerably more extensive.

One Friday in Gaza

Jen Marlowe on
Jen Marlowe with Fadi at the Great March of Return in Gaza.

Jen Marlowe shares a day in the life from Gaza: “The Great Return March earlier that day had been a blur of action. Ribbons of tear gas and repeated bursts of live fire, sometimes followed by shouts of “Someone’s wounded!” Was the last of these incidents that I witnessed the moment that Yousef had been shot in the chest and killed?”

Video: Dialysis patients in life-or-death situation as Gaza faces new fuel crisis

Yumna Patel and Nidal Wuheid on

Gaza’s hospitals have been thrown into crisis once again, as they face another massive fuel crisis. Gaza’s health ministry says they need 300,000 liters of fuel as soon as possible to avoid the shutdown of several hospitals. Among those who are the most vulnerable are children on dialysis, who are facing a struggle to survive. 

Gaza’s ‘Edward Said Public Library’ needs your support to do even more

Nada Elia on

The Edward Said Library is in desperate need of donations in order to be able to continue offering book clubs, English language conversation classes, and opportunities for schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip. Nada Elia writes, “Please donate what you can. It can buy a box of crayons, coloring books, books on decolonial struggle, it can help pay the rent. It can lessen the suffocation of Gaza, until the siege is lifted.”

UN office: Israeli settler hate crimes against Palestinians rose 69% in 2018

Kate on

Last week, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs released statistics ahead of the new year that showed a 69 percent increase in settler attacks on Palestinians in 2018 compared to 2017. OCHA recorded 265 incidents in which Israeli residents of the West Bank allegedly targeted Palestinians or their property. In total, 115 Palestinians were injured in those attacks and 7,900 trees and 540 vehicles were destroyed.

Walaa from Gaza needs your help to graduate

Walaa Ghussein on

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.”