One Gazan's war diary, November 14-21. By Ahmed G. Ferwana November 14 I wished my colleagues and students a nice weekend, and left the American International School of Gaza (AISG), where I work as a Language and Literature teacher, for my apartment on Al-Shuhada Street, which I consider to be one of the most beautiful streets in the Gaza Strip. It was a lovely Wednesday, to be followed by a three-day vacation, and I had plans to meet some friends for a barbeque. Then, time and date was all that mattered once I had that moment of silence as a…Read More... | 26 Comments
pillar of defense
Palestinians in Gaza celebrated the ceasefire yesterday evening, but the destruction and grief left in the wake of Israeli airstrikes are enormous. Activestills documented the Israeli operation from beginning to end, capturing its effects in Israel, the West Bank and, most acutely, the Gaza Strip.Read More... | 2 Comments
As yet another military campaign ends, the IDF turns out to be, as usual, the weakest link in the chain. Operation Cast Ballot, or as it is formally known, "Pillar of Defense," has come to an end. Childish to the end, the Palestinians and Israelis managed to miss a ceasefire on Tuesday, as they quarreled over who would fire the last shell. The practice of announcing a ceasefire in advance, so as to make certain that all troops know of it in time and observe it, has been perverted into a competition of who can fire more in less time.…Read More... | 10 Comments
Using cold logic to explain the killings of civilians is an attempt to deaden our emotions and detach us from inexplicable tragedy. By Jake Meth When I was younger, I always hoped that my older self would have a great explanation for why innocent civilians kept getting killed in violent conflicts. But as Israel began another air campaign against the Gaza Strip last week, I suddenly realized that this explanation for which I had waited so long was nowhere to be found. I was 15 when the U.S. invaded Iraq, when it seemed as if every other headline in the…Read More... | 10 Comments
At least seventeen people were wounded, two of them seriously, when a bomb blew up in a bus in central Tel Aviv earlier today. This was the first bus bombing in the city since 2006, and although several armed groups voiced support for the bombing, Israeli police were cautious not to assign direct responsibility even hours after the attack. Uncharacteristically for a conflict area more than accustomed to suicide bombings, the bomb appears to have been left on the bus and set off some time after the bomber or bombers left the vehicle. Police described the attack as "amateur-like." In…Read More... | 7 Comments
Members of the Palestinian Union of Journalists and their supporters gathered in Ramallah's Al-Manara Square on Sunday to demonstrate against an Israeli attack on two media buildings in Gaza. Ramallah, West Bank - Dozens of Palestinians in the West Bank - territorially separated from the Gaza Strip - protested in the territory's administrative center Ramallah on Sunday, accusing Israel of directly targeting journalists in an attempt to stifle the flow of information out of Gaza. Media NGOs, including Reporters Without Borders, have condemned the strike, which wounded six Palestinian journalists and damaged the equipment of foreign media covering the…Read More... | 7 Comments
Rushdi Tamimi, 31, was shot by Israeli soldiers during a protest in Nabi Saleh on Saturday; he died today in a Ramallah hospital. 22-year-old Hamdi Falah died today after being shot four times by soldiers at a Hebron protest. In the past several days, Israeli forces have violently repressed demonstrations in East Jerusalem and the West Bank against the army's 'Operation Pillar of Defense.' Abir Kopty of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee reported that protests held on Saturday and Sunday at Nabi Saleh, Ofer Military Prison, Hebron, Nablus, Jenin, and Bethlehem were put down through the use of tear gas, rubber…Read More... | 14 Comments
Each days brings new horrors. Sunday was the deadliest day since the beginning of this escalation, and the deadliest day since Operation Cast Lead. The level of destruction all over the Gaza Strip is appalling. Bulldozers were working in different places to dig under the rubble to find bodies. The Al-Dalou family was almost entirely wiped out, with 11 members, including four women and four children, killed when an Israeli missile destroyed their home in the Sheikh Radwan neighborhood of Gaza City on Sunday afternoon. Israel clearly targeted Gaza's media, with the two towers which host many TV channels and agencies…Read More... | 4 Comments
By Anna Momigliano It has been noted that this is the first war declared on Twitter. At this point I find myself wondering if this might be as well the first war lost on Twitter. Don't get me wrong, I am well aware that there are thousands of people on both sides in fear of their lives and that the use of social media is the least of their concerns. Nor do I think that the “media war” is even remotely as relevant as the actual conflict that is raging over Israel and the Gaza Strip. Yet, as someone who…Read More... | 10 Comments
The Tel Aviv bubble has burst - or it is in denial. Or a bit of both. Whatever the diagnosis may be, the fact that rockets from Gaza have reached the city for the fifth time in four consecutive days (rockets were just fired at around 18:45 while I was writing this), even if they have mostly not made impact, is shocking, and it is certainly a wake-up call. As Amir Oren said in Haaretz's opinion pages today: The significance of rockets fired on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem should not be underestimated. Since 1948, no Arab country, except Iraq in…Read More... | 35 Comments
The Israeli army is sending text messages to mobile phones in Gaza with a warning in Arabic: "The next phase is on the way. Stay away from Hamas elements." Using Instagram, Twitter user @RanaGaza tweeted a photo of the message on her father's mobile phone. During the 2008-9 Israeli military assault on Gaza, the army sent thousands of similar messages to mobile phones in Gaza. But according to several friends and acquaintances who were there, the messages were often either false alarms or designed to sow panic. "What do you do if you receive a message warning you to go…Read More... | 11 Comments
The transformation of Palestinians into objects and the attempt to undermine the relationships they have with one another form the context in which this latest assault on Gaza must be understood. By Vicky Hosker Although less than three hours away from Bethlehem, Gaza often feels like another world to me. The distinguishing feature of Israel’s long-term policy towards Palestinians is not simply displacement, but dismemberment: separate ID cards for West Bank and Gaza residents have forced married couples to choose between leaving the country entirely or living apart, while economic, educational, and cultural ties have been severed with clinical efficiency.…Read More... | 7 Comments
The three Israelis killed on Thursday were innocent - but the State of Israel is not. Where is the house that got hit with the rocket, I asked the guy behind the counter of a snack bar in Kiryat Malachi on Thursday. Go to the third traffic circle and make a left, he said. I got to the street, parked my car and started walking toward the satellite dishes, TV truck and the crowd. It's a poor neighborhood on the edge of a poor town, across the street from open fields. The buildings are old, shabby tenements with dirt…Read More... | 43 Comments
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