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Gaza Strip

  • Seven years later, Israel decides Gaza blockade is ineffective

    After seven years of siege, the defense establishment has suddenly discovered that the blockade on Gaza is not helpful. It's no coincidence, of course, that this realization comes after a war that devastated the Strip and has the Palestinians focused on reconstruction.  "Israel now admits that the almost-airtight blockade of Gaza has done more harm than good." I am always amazed at the ease with which these sentences are written by this or that analyst. Written so nonchalantly to the point that it feels like the writer might as well just shrug and say, "Well that didn't work, let's try…

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  • The month in photos: Building Gaza anew, building new settlements

    The most compelling images of September's top stories in Palestine, Israel and beyond. This month: Rebuilding Gaza, new settlements in East Jerusalem, anti-occupation protests in the West Bank, Palestinian teen’s killers on trial, and poor Tel Aviv residents lose a long fight to keep their homes.       More photos: Living in the ruins of a shattered Gaza neighborhood      More photos: Clashes in East Jerusalem after police kill young Palestinian            More photos: Gaza's children face an uncertain future      More photos: Amid rubble and trauma, Gaza goes back to school            …

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  • PHOTOS: Gaza's children face an uncertain future

    Israel's latest offensive on the Gaza Strip killed more than 500 children. Those who survive must endure ongoing trauma and displacement. Photos by Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by Anne Paq I visited Al Nada towers in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip after they were destroyed by Israeli strikes. The towers had 90 apartments, home to many families. Mohammed, an 11-year-old child, was sitting on top of rubble, waiting to go to school. As I was working on a series of images of destroyed bedrooms, I asked him to bring me to his home to show me…

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  • Accusing Israel of ‘genocide’: Major fail

    And deservedly so, because it’s a false accusation. This is not how to fight the occupation, this is how to help strengthen it. Mahmoud Abbas’ speech last Friday at the United Nations General Assembly gave the highest-profile-ever exposure to the accusation, popular among anti-Zionists, that Israel practices “genocide” against the Palestinians, and that the war in Gaza was a genocidal one. That’s the highlight of the speech that was picked for the headline in any number of major international news outlets; in Israel the speech is already known, and will be forever, as Abbas’ “genocide speech.” That one word seems…

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  • PHOTOS: Amid rubble and trauma, Gaza goes back to school

    With displaced families still living in some schools, and despite severe damage to classrooms, Gaza's children return to school after a summer of Israeli bombardment. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Despite damaged classrooms and destroyed schools, Gaza’s school year began this week after delays due to the recent Israeli offensive known as Operation Protective Edge. According to Gaza Education Ministry official Ziad Thabet, the first weeks of classes will focus on recreational activities and psychological counseling to help children recover from the trauma sustained during this summer’s attacks. During the seven weeks of…

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  • PHOTOS: Living in the ruins of a shattered Gaza neighborhood

    Palestinians struggle to survive among the rubble of their neighborhood, Shujaiyeh, which was leveled by Israeli shelling during last month's offensive. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by: Anne Paq A group of Palestinian men sit in one of the completely destroyed streets in Shujaiyeh, a neighborhood of east of Gaza City. In front of them, a huge area has been reduced to rubble. Water is flowing into the street as one of the pipes has been damaged. Some tried to dig to fix the pipes but did not manage. Palestinians are very ill-equipped to even clean the rubble,…

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  • Photos of the week: Ceasefire begins and ends

    This week: Palestinian and Israeli protests across the political, ethnic and religious spectrum; homes and property damaged and destroyed in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel; aid for those suffering; and a wedding under protest. Related: Wedding crashers: Do anti-miscegenation protesters hate or love Judaism? 10,000 protest in Tel Aviv for a just peace, end to occupation PHOTOS: Israeli forces kill Palestinian and bulldoze his family house

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  • Gaza dispatch: Why the people support Hamas

    More than seven years of Israeli siege, a punishment for voting Hamas into power, have led Palestinians to rally around the party. After all, every time they look to Mahmoud Abbas for salvation, they are sorely disappointed. By Abeer Ayyoub GAZA CITY - With Operation Protective Edge becoming longer and more violent, questions over the attitude of the 1.8 million residents of Gaza toward Hamas are coming to the fore. Although both the international and Israeli media are concerned about Gazans, they are noticeably more critical of Hamas than they are of Israel. That concern is understood, but needs to…

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  • In ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is letting Hamas win Gaza war

    The great mystery is: Why? In the Cairo ceasefire talks, Netanyahu is snatching diplomatic defeat from the jaws of military victory. I have no explanation for why he’s doing this and I have yet to hear a convincing one. There must be something Netanyahu knows that no one else does. Otherwise his concessions at the Cairo talks, after blitzing the Gaza Strip for five weeks, leaving Hamas able to do no more than fire short-range rockets over the Israeli border, and being hailed in Israel as a warrior king, make no sense at all. Meretz leader Zahava Gal-On gave an…

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  • The world is letting Israel get away with it again

    The assault on Gaza has hurt this country’s image, and it doesn’t care. There’s no doubt that this past month of heavily televised overkill in Gaza – well, heavily televised everywhere but here – has hurt Israel’s standing in the world. The IDF has killed too many civilians, wiped out too many families, bombed too many UN shelters. Even Washington has used words like “indefensible” and “disgraceful” to describe some of Israel’s acts. And while the world’s powers-that-be don’t like Hamas, they do like the Palestinian Authority and its leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and they know very well that the Netanyahu government…

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  • Israel cracks down on dissent

    More than 1,000 Palestinian citizens of Israel were arrested by Israeli police during Operation Protective Edge, according to a lawyer representing a number of the detainees. While some were arrested for protesting the Israeli military incursion into Gaza, dozens were held without charge. Maisa Arshid, an attorney for dozens of the detainees, says that 20 to 30 Palestinians were picked up by Israeli police every week in the Nazareth area alone. “All of them are accused of participating in illegal demonstrations,” she says. But, she adds, “Part of these demos were permitted by the police themselves.” In many cases, there…

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  • Dispatch from Gaza: Palestinians flock to hospital to wait out assault

    Hundreds of Palestinian families have sought cover in Gaza's Al Shifa hospital, one of the last remaining shelters that has been spared Israeli bombardment.  GAZA CITY - In the early morning of July 19th, Rafeeq Ibrahim and his wife grabbed their four daughters and made a run for it. Their neighborhood in Shejaiya, along Gaza's eastern border, was taking heavy artillery fire from nearby Israeli tanks. With no way to fight, their only option was flight. But what they saw next froze them in their tracks. "As soon as we ran out the door, we saw our neighbor's son, lying lifeless…

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  • PHOTOS: Another day of destruction, death and displacement in Gaza

    The number of dead has reached at least 620 mostly civilian Palestinians and 31 Israelis, 29 of them soldiers. Another day in Gaza between bombed houses, destruction and displaced people. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by: Keren Manor               Related: Why do Palestinians continues to support Hamas despite such devastating losses? 'Finish the job' Palestinian human rights leader: 'Cast Lead was a joke compared to this'      

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