Two and a half decades of black and white in Gaza

Beauty, pain, youth, heartbreak, resilience, and strength are just six of the thousands of words each of these photographs say. This is the Gaza Strip, then and now, in black and in white.

Young Palestinians run in the street during an Israeli military assault in the Gaza Strip in January 1988 during the First Intifada. Photo credit: Jean-Claude Coutausse

Surfer Momen Abu Assi, 13, catches a wave along the coast of the Gaza Strip on November 9, 2011. Photo credit: Andrew McConnell

An elderly woman attempts to break a large rock into smaller stones for Palestinian youth to throw against advancing Israeli tanks in Gaza City in 1993. Photo credit: Larry Towell

Homes in the Gaza Strip overlook a cemetery. Because over 80% of the territory’s water is not safe for drinking, Gazans must purchase purified water which is later stored in black tanks or containers kept on the roofs. Photo credit: Kadir van Lohuizen

Hanin Tafish, 10 months old, was killed on November 15, 2012, following an Israeli airstrike on her family’s house in the Zeytoun district of the Gaza Strip. Her cousin, Ahmed, 11, holds one of the unexploded projectiles that hit the roof of Hanin’s house. Photo credit: “Desde Palestina”

A mother comforts her young boys during a funeral for one of her other sons who was shot and killed while sleeping in his Khan Younis home in the Gaza Strip in May 2004. Photo credit: Benedicte Kurzen

A young Palestinian boy holds a Palestinian flag in the Gaza Strip, December 1988. Photo credit: Jean-Claude Coutausse

Merchants in Gaza City’s fish market display the morning’s catch to buyers one early March morning in 2010. Fishermen find it difficult to keep up with the demand for fish in Gaza due to Israel’s restrictions on how far they are allowed to fish from the coast. Photo credit: Kadir van Lohuizen

A Palestinian man gets a haircut at Shahid (Martyr) Barber Shop in the city of Rafah in May 2005. Photos of Palestinian men killed by Israel during the Second Intifada are displayed in a small case on the wall. Photo credit: Seamus Murphy

A boy looks for his toys inside of his family’s home which was severely damaged during Israel’s 2008-2009 invasion of the Gaza Strip. Photo credit: Christian Als

In 2010, Israeli soldiers using machine guns mounted on tanks fired at Nasser Abu Said’s home, instantly killing his wife. Almost one year later, Israeli tanks shelled and demolished his house, which once stood in Juhor Al-Deek near the Gaza Strip-Israel border. He and his family now live in tents erected on the ground. Photo credit: “Desde Palestina”

A woman calls for a taxi in the Sheikh Radwan district of Gaza City in 1993. Photo credit: Larry Towell

Palestinian men line up and wait for hours to receive clearance to cross the Erez checkpoint into Israel for work in 2006. Palestinian workers are no longer allowed entry through Erez. Photo credit: Ethan Eisenberg

Two men with horses take a break along Gaza’s coast in March 2010. The standing water in front of them is heavily polluted with raw sewage. Most clean or purified water is used in Israel for irrigation before it ever reaches the Gaza Strip. Photo credit: Kadir van Lohuizen

Kamil Adham Al-Kafam, 20, recovers in the hospital after he and another Palestinian man were shot by Israeli soldiers in the north of Gaza near the Erez checkpoint on February 14, 2013. Photo credit: “Desde Palestina”

A Palestinian man directs his horse-drawn cart through Gaza City’s busy streets on his way to work on July 12, 2011. Photo credit: Sami Kishawi

A gate reading “Welcome To Gaza” greets travelers entering the Gaza Strip. Photo credit: Unknown

A Palestinian man works on a tunnel running underneath the the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt in August 2008. The tunnels are mainly used to smuggle food, humanitarian aid, and construction supplies into Gaza which would otherwise be held on the border indefinitely by the Israeli or Egyptian militaries. Photo credit: Zoriah Miller

On November 19, 2012, Israel launched an air strike that destroyed Amna Hajazi’s home, killing her husband Fu’ad and two of her sons — Suheen, 2, and Mohammad, 4. Amna, 43, suffered a broken clavicle and damage to her central nervous system, which was discovered in this X-ray. She now rents a room in the Jabalya refugee camp where she waits for a surgery to remove the shrapnel embedded in her brain tissues. Photo credit: “Desde Palestina”

A father and a son quickly walk through the street and past an Israeli watchtower (not shown) guarded by an Israeli sniper in Rafah, May 2005. Photo credit: Seamus Murphy

A Palestinian youth takes a break from a television show in the Shaburra refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in 2010. Photo credit: Ethan Eisenberg

Kefah, 36, and her daughter play together in their home in Rafah, May 2004. Kefah’s husband was killed during an Israeli airstrike that month in the Tal Al-Sultan district of Rafah. Photo credit: Benedicte Kurzen

A man suffering from a minor skin condition approaches an elderly man for assistance on June 25, 2011. The elderly man is known throughout his neighborhood in Gaza City for his ritualistic healing practices. Photo credit: Sami Kishawi

Children inspect a destroyed home in the Jabalya refugee camp on December 5, 2012. Jabalya has been the site of multiple Israeli air strikes that cause damage to homes and storefronts and that lead to many deaths in the densely populated zone. Photo credit: “Desde Palestina”

Land is leveled in the Gaza Strip following extensive Israeli bombing in May 2006. Photo credit: Zoriah Miller

All photographs belong to their rightful owners. For more photographs, be sure to see Gaza in full color and to check out our Photo of the Week feature as well as our collection of Photo Sets.

There are 6 comments

  1. taniahary

    Thanks for the photos. In the photo by Ethan Eisenberg of Erez checkpoint, there must be a mistake in the caption. Israel has barred entry to Palestinian laborers from Gaza since 2006.

  2. Sue Weise

    If the Palestinians cared more for their children and less for bombing Israel for no reason, perhaps Israel would stop defending themselves and bombing back. Oh, and if the Palestinians, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Islamists would quit using schools and innocent neighborhoods to launch their rockets, there would be much fewer children dying in Gaza and elsewhere. The Palestinians won’t meet for peace talks until they get what they want, and what they want is the entire demise of the Jewish race. They blast this feeling all over the world, so no one can argue about this statement! And tell me, WHO ARE THEY THAT FIND NO PROBLEM WITH SENDING ROCKETS INTO ISRAELI TOWNS FOR NO REASON? And then turn it all around and cry about Israel sending rockets back?
    If they want peace; if they want their children to live, then ACT AND BEHAVE LIKE IT!!!!
    Any country has a right to fight back when attacked for no reason. So does ISRAEL!! These pictures are horrific! But the Palestinians bring it all on themselves then blame Israel. Truth. This is the TRUTH. Live with it.

    1. The Truth

      Just stop. PLEASE stop. The zionists are European Jews that carefully and systematically invaded the Palestinians and what would have very soon been declared the state of Palestine (which is a multi-religious identity state) just like India was declared around that time. They have continued to invade and terrorize ever since, and the Palestinians have never been OK with it. One does not simply make due with settlers that literally kick you and your family out of your house or even kill your family members. Anything the Palestinians have done, “terrorism” or not, since 1946 is completely justified, absolutely not negotiable. They have been fighting an undeclared war since 1946. No confrontation with israel is fair, including the 6-day war by OTHER Arab countries (not even Palestinians) since then because a war with israel is simply a war with the US. This is not fair and the zionists need to fight on their own and stop being parasites of other nations such as the US. When they want to fight a fair war over the land, let us know. They don’t want to fight and would rather have peace? Then they need to live peacefully within their homeland under the 2000 year old nation of Palestine, because if they want an exclusively Jewish state, they will have to fight for it because that’s not going to fly by Christians and Muslims alike who historically did all the fighting for that land anyway, unlike the Jews. GTFO with all your bullcrap. There is a right side in this conflict belonging to the Palestinians and a wrong, terrorist side that is zionism which is the cause of chaos in our world today.

    2. Denny Cormier

      Excellent photo essay….. let the haters say what they will, the Occupation of Gaza and the continued breaking of international law by Israel is an abomination. The phrase “If the Palestinians cared more for their children and less for bombing Israel for no reason” by an earlier person who commented shows an absolute ignorance of the facts on the ground. Having met thousands of Palestinians, I can tell you that Sue Weise is way off base with that comment.

    3. Achim Steiner

      To Sue Weise: Enjoy yourselves! Kill every soul in Palestine. Fortunately life in this world isn’t forever and soon you will be personally among those to answer for your lies and crimes. You have my blessings.

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