The meals that go cold in Gaza

Late on Friday evening, a mother waited tensely for her son who had promised to meet with her in less than an hour. He had been on the frontline, defending the Gaza Strip against Israel’s ground incursion. She waited. He never made it home.

Earlier in the day, the young man, whose name has not yet been disclosed, found time to contact his mother. It was a very simple ritual most people would take for granted. But for between him and his mother, it worked both ways. He called to make sure she was still alive and that the house was still standing. Israeli air strikes do not discriminate, and despite his physical distance from his family, the Israeli air force shows no qualms in striking the homes of Palestinian fighters, even if the only people in the house are relatives and loved ones.

She made sure to answer. He was her blood. She needed to know that he was safe, or at least that he was alive. He was. [Read more...]

Photo of the Day: Escape to the beaches of Gaza

Note: Due to the sheer amount of evocative and telling photography coming out of Palestine, we have transitioned our weekly photograph features into daily photograph features and will continue uploading images on a daily basis until further notice.

Photo credit: Sharif Kouddous
Date taken: July 26, 2014
Location: Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine

Palestinians take a trip to the beach in Gaza City during a 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire. The break came nearly three weeks into Israel’s latest offensive against the Gaza Strip. [Read more...]

UK news anchorman makes emotional plea for Gaza after visit left him ‘deeply scarred’

Jon Snow, a British journalist and television presenter for Channel 4 News, traveled to the Gaza Strip to document the tragedy that continues to unfold as more and more Palestinians die from Israeli attacks. Israel launched its latest offensive against Gaza, dubbed “Operation Protect Edge,” on July 8. Since then, at least 1,023 Palestinians have been killed, including nearly 200 children.

Snow’s coverage of the invasion has been refreshing to say the least. In a recent interview with Israeli Prime Minister spokesman Mark Regev, Snow asked hard-hitting questions about Israel’s seemingly indiscriminate targeting of Palestinian civilians. In the interest of time, Snow narrowed his focus to the shelling of Gaza’s Al-Wafa rehabilitation and geriatric hospital as well as the shelling of a beach that killed four young boys — all related — and injured a fifth.

Despite Regev’s flustered attempts to deflect Snow’s challenging questions with the usual talking points about how ‘Hamas is to blame for the outcome of Israeli strikes,’ Snow makes it clear to him and to viewers that “you [Israel] are deliberately targeting neighborhoods in which you know there are women and children. And if your sightings can’t see boys playing football in a huge, wide beach, then there’s something wrong with your equipment.” [Read more...]

Photo of the Day: Living through holes in the Gaza Strip

Note: Due to the sheer amount of evocative and telling photography coming out of Palestine, we have transitioned our weekly photograph features into daily photograph features and will continue uploading images on a daily basis until further notice.

Photo credit: Mahmud Hams
Date taken: July 21, 2014
Location: Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine

Palestinians watch from a hole in a wall as medics and Civil Defense workers sift through the rubble of a nearby building destroyed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City. [Read more...]

‘If our time comes, at least we will go together’

Meet Fouad, to the left, and Rami. These are Malak’s older brothers. Fouad is a bundle of energy who sprints more than he walks. Rami takes a more passive approach to life, spending much of his time watching over his younger siblings or sitting quietly with his leukemic father, absorbing his resilience and nurturing him as best as his little hands will allow him to.

This is the third invasion of the Gaza Strip the two brothers have had to live through. There is no consistency in their lives. From frequent air strikes right next door to cancelled school days that turn to weeks, the closest things to normalcy they have ever had are their trips to the beach where the brief sting of the salty water in their eyes gets them to forget about their grey surroundings and shed the weight of living under siege. It’s a moment of weakness that is otherwise never allowed, for at such an early age they have come to realize that strength is what it takes to make it to the next day.

They are not boys. Despite their young age, they are men — men who have seen more blood than most, who have seen more explosions in their young lives than we can ever imagine, who have had to say bye to family and friends so frequently that they just aren’t interested in saying hello. They can tell you the exact weapon that killed their neighbor based on the sound of the pop. It’s something they learned in 2008-09, were tested on in 2012, and are now teaching other children in 2014. [Read more...]

Photo of the Day: The usual kind of coexistence in Gaza

Note: Due to the sheer amount of evocative and telling photography coming out of Palestine, we have transitioned our weekly photograph features into daily photograph features and will continue uploading images on a daily basis until further notice.

Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis
Date taken: July 23, 2014
Location: Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine

Palestinians take shelter inside of the St. Porphyrios Church in Gaza City. Following fierce shelling in surrounding neighborhoods, the Greek Orthodox Church opened its doors to Palestinians who fled there homes but had no place else to go. Over 600 Palestinians had been killed on Wednesday when this photograph was captured. As of Saturday morning, at least 867 Palestinians were confirmed dead since Israel’s invasion of the Gaza Strip began on July 8. [Read more...]

Photo of the Day: Gaza is still beautiful

Note: Due to the sheer amount of evocative and telling photography coming out of Palestine, we have transitioned our weekly photograph features into daily photograph features and will continue uploading images on a daily basis until further notice.

Photo credit: Suha Najjar
Date taken: July 24, 2014
Location: Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Palestine

The sun sets over Gaza City’s Remal neighborhood on day 17 of Israel’s latest offensive against the occupied Gaza Strip. [Read more...]

Controversial, illegal, and documented: Israeli military strategies in Gaza


Israel commenced its invasion of the Gaza Strip with air strikes on more than 200 sites, killing 24 Palestinians on the first day. Above, an Israeli missile hits a building just south of Gaza City on July 8, 2014. Photo credit: Mohammed Saber, EPA

As Israel rolls deeper into its military offensive against the Gaza Strip, its tactics against the territory’s densely-packed civilian population are becoming more and more clear. Over the last 17 days, the death toll has risen to at least 797 Palestinians, most of whom were civilians and nearly two hundred of whom were children. Despite near-global condemnation, Israel has not dialed down the brutality. The following is a list of ten documented Israeli military strategies that are responsible for the disturbingly high casualty count.

1. Israel is one of the best equipped militaries in the world and its weapons industry is responsible for many technological advancements in modern warfare. It should come as no surprise, then, that Israel has the capacity to strike its targets with extreme precision. In the past, Israel has assassinated Hamas members so precisely that others riding with them in their cars or walking alongside them have survived. This has not been the modus operandi for Israel’s last three major offensives against the Gaza Strip, particularly this latest one. Even U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry commented on Israel’s military strategy, sarcastically calling it one “hell of a pinpoint operation”.

2. Israel contends that it warns Gaza residents of imminent air strikes and shelling campaigns and instructs them to flee. However, the crippling siege and total blockade that Israel has imposed on the territory means that Palestinians have no place to go. This allows Israel to kill two birds with one stone, as the saying goes. It can publicly claim that it works to minimize civilian casualties while at the same time killing Palestinians wantonly and with impunity. [Read more...]

New initiative restores Palestinian humanity in mainstream media

HP

Humanize Palestine is a new initiative intended to challenge the commonly dehumanizing or insensitive portrayal of Palestinians in mainstream media. This unique project aims to restore and maintain the identities of Palestinians killed at the hands of the Israeli military, particularly when they are dryly featured in news stories or depicted as collateral damage in an ongoing conflict.

According to website’s ‘About’ page, the individuals behind this effort take issue with the presentation of casualties in this latest military offensive. When a Palestinian is killed, news networks almost always circulate photographs of the victim’s funeral or of a burned, beaten, or otherwise mutilated body. But when an Israeli goes missing or is killed, the media introduces their story with photographs of them smiling with friends or positing with family. To the website creators, this creates a level of empathy that allows viewers to connect with the victim — a connection that is just not afforded to Palestinians.

Worse still, the presentation of Palestinians as disposable bodies strips the victims of their identities, their agencies, and their life stories which are just as important as anyone else’s. Humanize Palestine aims to combat that. For example, Abdulla Amara’s memorial page reveals that he was on his way to becoming a human rights lawyer before being killed in the shelling of Gaza City’s Shuja’iyya neighborhood. [Read more...]

Photo of the Day: Brutality of Israel’s Gaza invasion seen from space

Note: Due to the sheer amount of evocative and telling photography coming out of Palestine, we have transitioned our weekly photograph features into daily photograph features and will continue uploading images on a daily basis until further notice.

Photo credit: Alexander Gerst
Date taken: July 23, 2014
Location: International Space Station, Outer Space

Fiery blasts and explosions are seen in the Gaza Strip, as photographed by German astronaut Alexander Gerst in the International Space Station. [Read more...]

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