The rectangle is a very satisfying shape. The angles are precise. There is symmetry. Certain rectangles have even been scientifically shown to be visually pleasing. Calming, if you will.
But in the Gaza Strip, where Israel’s latest invasion took with it the lives of over 2,100 Palestinians and left behind scenes of devastation marked by total destruction, rectangles are open wounds. They provide raw panoramas of all that Gaza must rebuild. Or, if seen from the other side, they show what fifty days of bombardment can do to a person’s emotional and physical well-being.
Here are just some of Gaza’s most rectangular views.
A landscape of destruction is seen from the bathroom of a Palestinian apartment in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, August 18, 2014. Beit Hanoun was one of the hardest hit areas during Israel’s 50-day assault on Gaza. Photo credit: Thomas Coex
A Palestinian worker looks out of the damaged remains of Al-Awdah food factory which was shelled and then torched by the Israeli army, August 14, 2014. Just as the Israeli military had done during its ground incursion into the Gaza Strip in 2008-09, soldiers frequently targeted or set fire to buildings that were crucial for the sustenance of the territory’s population. Aside from civilian homes and warehouses, Israel also targeted a number of sewage treatment facilities as well as Gaza’s only power plant, leaving the territory’s 1.8 million people entirely reliant on power from electrical generators for at least the next year. Photo credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
Palestinians attend a sermon at a United Nations-run school in Gaza City on Monday, July 28, 2014. It is the morning of Eid Al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday that caps the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Normally, they would be praying at their local mosques. But because Israel had destroyed nearly two dozen mosques by this point in the invasion, the worshippers felt safer in the school. Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis
A Palestinian woman stands in the frame of a window that had been destroyed as Israel shelled her home in Gaza City’s Shuja’iyya neighborhood, August 11, 2014. An Egyptian-brokered ceasefire put the fighting on pause, but the ceasefire would soon collapse and Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip would continue for two more weeks. Photo credit: Hatem Moussa
A pregnant woman sneaks a peek outside of her window in the Al-Shifa Hospital’s maternity clinic in Gaza City before giving birth, July 2014. Just outside of her room is the hospital morgue which had seen dramatically increased activity since Israel began its invasion of the Gaza Strip on July 8. A police officer is seen walking toward a crowd that had gathered at the morgue to identify the bodies of those that had been killed. Photo credit: Loulou d’Aki
Bajes Jendiyah, far left, walks past the rubble of his family home after it was destroyed in an Israeli air strike, July 31, 2014. Jendiyah lives in the Sabra neighborhood of Gaza City with his extended family. At least 21 family members and relatives lived in the building. Now they must cope with a destroyed home without electricity or running water for much of the day. Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis
Women gather on the stairs to watch and grieve during the funeral of Abdalla Ismail Al-Buheisi, 27, in Deir Al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip, July 22, 2014. Al-Buheisi was a fighter with the Islamic Brigades. Photo credit: Sergey Ponomarev
A young Palestinian man inspects a hole in the wall of the Inteiz family house in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of Gaza City, July 18, 2014. The home was damaged by an Israeli air strike. Two days later, the very densely populated Shuja’iyya neighborhood faced heavy shelling for the next 48 hours. More than 100 Palestinians, including many children and medics, were killed in the streets or under the rubble of their own homes. Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis
A Palestinian man sits on a dust-covered couch in his damaged living room in Gaza City and inspects the damage to the buildings across from his apartment, July 12, 2014. Photo credit: Ezz Al-Zanoun
Palestinian women wearing comfortable prayer clothes take a break and look outside the window of their destroyed home following late night Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, August 20, 2014. Photo credit: Khalil Hamra
A displaced Palestinian woman walks up the the staircase to a classroom where she has taken refuge with other families, August 7, 2014. Thousands of families across the Gaza Strip fled to United Nations-run schools after their homes or their neighborhoods were rocked by Israeli air strikes. On this day, the local non-profit NGO ‘Tomooh’ arranged a play session for children under the supervision of volunteers to lessen the stress and psychological damage that they endured after weeks of fighting. Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis
A Palestinian man inspects the remains of his damaged home after it had been destroyed by Israeli air strikes in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, August 5, 2014. The Shabat family, who own this home, joined thousands of displaced Palestinian families who fled from their homes as a result of Israel’s aggression in Gaza. Photo credit: Lefteris Pitarakis
A Palestinian man inspects the damage done to a home after it had been hit by an overnight Israeli air strike in Gaza City, July 14, 2014. According to Israel, in just over one week, the Israeli military launched over 1,300 air strikes against Gaza. This is far more than the number of rockets launched from Gaza into Israel in that same timespan. Photo credit: Khalil Hamra
Palestinian women look out from the window of their home to where the 15-story Basha Tower once stood, August 26, 2014. The tower was destroyed during an early morning Israeli air strike. With an open-ended ceasefire marking the end of Israel’s 50-day onslaught, Palestinians turned their attention to the streets to inspect the damage done to their neighborhoods. Photo credit: Khalil Hamra
A Palestinian woman from the Bakr family inspects the damage done to her home in Gaza City after it was bombed earlier in the day, July 22, 2014. Photo credit: Silvia Boarini
Palestinian family members look through a blown-out window at the remains of a neighboring home that was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Gaza City in July. Thick, broken tree branches strewn along the ground show signs of the blast. Photo credit: Uncredited Reuters photograph
A Palestinian man spends his morning inspecting and recovering belongings from a home after it was destroyed in a blast from an overnight Israeli air strike in Gaza City, July 2014. Photo credit: Mahmud Hams
A home in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood of the Gaza Strip provides a sweeping view of the area Salem Khaleel Shamaly, 23, was shot and killed. Wearing a vivid green t-shirt, he was sniped as he searched for his family members in the ruins of the homes in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood after it had been pummeled by Israeli shells. Shamaly had been with volunteers from the International Solidarity Movement who caught his final moments on video (found here). His family learned about his death while watching the footage for the first time. The journalist who took this photograph learned that this was most likely the home from which the Israeli sniper fired the lethal bullets. Photo credit: Inigo Gilmore
All photographs belong to their respective owners and press agencies and have been displayed here for educational purposes.