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Gaza

  • Abbas just shot the Palestinian cause in the foot

    He needs the world to win independence for his nation, and in the eyes of the world, Hamas, with whom he just joined forces, is anathema. I’m truly hoping that there’s some deep strategic genius on Mahmoud Abbas’ part that I’m missing here, because I keep turning it around and I can’t escape the impression that he has shot the cause of Palestinian independence in the foot by signing a reconciliation agreement with Hamas. And just when the Palestinians seemed ready to go on the march. The world, including even Washington, blames Israel for the failure of the Kerry peace…

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  • Why Fatah-Hamas reconciliation might just work this time

    Unlike previous efforts, the current Palestinian reconciliation agreement appears to have been cemented from within; and it might just offer a lifeline to Gaza. By Samer Badawi Just as word emerged early Wednesday of an imminent unity accord between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seized upon the news to issue his Palestinian counterpart an ultimatum: Make peace with Hamas, and you can forget about peace with Israel. In lockstep, Netanyahu’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman immediately dubbed any intra-Palestinian reconciliation a veritable “termination of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.” If that was a…

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  • WATCH: Bringing Israelis face to face with Gaza closure

    Although the Gaza Strip is only about 50 kilometers from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, few people are given permission to travel this short distance. One Israeli filmmaker decided to bring Gaza's separation policy to the heart of the Israeli mainstream. By Tania Hary Any illusions that Israel’s policy on Gaza is only about security surely should have been dispelled by the events of this week. Israel’s highest court struck down the petition of Gaza’s only Olympian runner, Nader al-Masri, who had asked to be able to travel to Bethlehem to race in the second annual Palestine…

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  • I'm a Palestinian from Gaza, not an alien

    The people of Gaza don't need the sympathy of the international community, they need to be treated like human beings. By Abeer Ayyoub I’m a Palestinian from Gaza, not simply "a Gazan." I’m not exactly what you see in the mainstream media: I’m no expert in firing rockets, I don’t live under rubble and I don’t rely on humanitarian handouts. Actually, I was never aware of how people outside of Gaza saw us until I was given the chance to leave the isolated enclave for the first time. The first time I left Gaza was in 2012, when I traveled to…

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  • The three truths the U.S. needs to accept about Gaza

    Israel and its U.S. allies perpetuate a number of mistruths about Gaza, its role in the conflict and its centrality moving forward. If they are not challenged, violence will continue and the U.S. risks losing even more credibility in the region. By Samer Badawi Fewer than 16 months after the ceasefire agreement that ended Israel’s last full-scale attack on Gaza—nine days of constant bombardment by air, land, and sea—Palestinians there are once again trapped and feeling the brunt of Israeli air strikes. They have every reason to be worried. On March 12, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, citing “a barrage of more than…

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  • In escalations of violence, Gazans pay the price

    As Gaza teeters on the brink, a new Israeli offensive could spell catastrophe for the blockaded strip. One Gazan reminds us who foots the bill, each and every time. By Abeer Ayyoub “You don’t have to worry - it’s only thunder, not an explosion,” my sister assured me. We are trying to sleep for the fifth time tonight, after our slumber was repeatedly interrupted by the sound of Israeli rockets and thunder. After failing to distinguish between the two, we turn to local radio stations to find out what was actually happening. Winter is special everywhere, and Gaza is no…

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  • Palestinian and proud: Celebrating International Women's Day in Gaza

    In honor of International Women's Day, Abeer Ayyoub pays respect to her mother, who taught her that being a woman in Gaza is as much about liberation as it is about survival.  By Abeer Ayyoub Although March 8th has always marked International Woman's Day, this year was the first time I ever felt like it belonged to me as a Palestinian woman. Perhaps it is because I recently turned 25, or perhaps it is because of the awareness I have gained regarding my role as a Palestinian woman living in Gaza. Early on, I felt that I had to become…

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  • PHOTOS: Women leading the struggles in Israel/Palestine

    In honor of International Women’s Day, Activestills brings you the best photos of the activist women who push for justice and a better life for all those between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Photo by:  Ahmad al-Bazz, Shiraz Grinbaum, Keren Manor, Tali Mayer, Anne Paq, Ryan Rodrick Beiler, Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv/Activestills.org   Read more: Meet the Israeli women who have stood up to the occupation for 26 years Women behind the lens: Palestinians filming the occupation

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  • The power of speaking Hebrew in Gaza

    Can Gazans boycott Israel while also studying Hebrew at university? One Palestinian believes in the power of understanding Israeli culture and people in their own words. By Abeer Ayyoub “It is 6:30 a.m. Jerusalem time, this is the broadcast from Voice of Israel.” This is how my mornings have always started since I was six years old, or at least on days when I had to wake up for school. Not because I was always interested in the news, but because my father, who gets up for the Fajr morning prayer, can never start his day without listening to the "local"…

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  • PHOTOS: Life and death in Gaza's border zone

    The fatal shooting of Ibrahim Mansour near the Gaza border is only the latest incident in what B'Tselem describes as the Israeli military's 'ongoing, illegal policy of using lethal firearms against civilians without justification.' Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org Ibrahim Mansour was collecting gravel near the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel when he was shot in the head and killed by the Israeli military on Thursday, February 13. One of Mansour’s two companions was injured in the shooting. Both survivors say that no warning was given before they were fired upon. Mansour's killing follows a pattern by…

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  • 'Wave of Palestinian terror'? Not exactly

    It’s pretty difficult to pinpoint anything resembling a starting point for the latest violence; prior to last week, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians since July, compared to four Israelis who were killed. The violence is neither unilateral nor arbitrary. The latest escalation between Israel and the Palestinians has taken lives on both sides over the last week. The Israeli media is now describing the violence as a new “wave of Palestinian terror.” Commentators have said that it’s not clear yet whether this is a third Intifada, indicating an organized uprising, since the attacks appear to have been perpetrated by individuals.…

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  • PHOTOS: Gaza's streets remain flooded a week after storm

    The UN reports that 10,000 people were displaced in the record-setting storm and that it could take another week to clear the flooding. A week after record-setting winter storms pounded the Middle East, areas of the Gaza Strip are still struggling to cope with severe flooding of homes and businesses. Gaza City residents reported that local government officials were slow to respond, had few available resources and showed little evidence of advanced planning. Instead, most immediate assistance was provided by community members who organized fishing boats and other makeshift watercraft to rescue people from their homes. This week, Palestinian police…

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