Out of the 2,200 Palestinians killed in last summer's assault on the Gaza Strip, over 80 percent were civilians. Nearly 150 families lost three or more relatives, with some families disappearing entirely. Activestills' Anne Paq returns to Gaza to tell the story behind the numbers. Photography: Anne Paq / Activestills.org, Editing: Shiraz Grinbaum / Activestills.org “Time will reduce the pain, but we will not forget our brothers”, told me 18-year-old Ibrahim Al Khalili in the midst of the burned ruins of the family factory, when I visited them in November 2014. The entire immediate families of Ibrahim's brothers, Ashraf and Ahmed, were killed:…Read More... | 3 Comments
You often hear of an airstrike on Gaza being labeled a 'precision strike.' But how precise can a half- or one-ton bomb be when dropped on an area the size of Detroit? “In Gaza, we use bombs that are extremely precise, and strike only Hamas targets – not civilians…” - Lt. Omer, Israeli Air Force Pilot “None of us were fighting. We were not told that we would be attacked… [M]y sister, my mother and my children all died… We all died that day, even those who survived.” - Survivor of an airstrike in Khan Younis during Operation Protective Edge,…Read More... | 16 Comments
At least 34 Palestinians were killed Thursday when the Israeli air force bombed Gaza for a second day after a temporary ceasefire broke down and negotiators failed to reach a ceasefire agreement. While the fate of Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif remains unknown after Israel attempted to assassinate him, and consequently killed his wife and two young children, the Israeli military confirmed that it had killed three top Hamas commanders, Raed Attar, Mohammed Abu Shamaleh and Mohammed Barhoum, in Rafah. Attar and Abu Shamaleh are thought to both have been involved in the 2006 Gilad Shalit kidnapping. Israel's Shin Bet also believes that…Read More... | 4 Comments
While prospects for a negotiated end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza remain bleak, making use of the existing sea passage to Gaza could offer a way forward for all parties, including Egypt. As negotiations to end the bloodshed in Gaza continue in Cairo, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said today that some 65,000 homes had been destroyed by Israeli bombing, leaving more than a quarter of the Gazan population seeking shelter – half of them at UNRWA schools. Aid organizations say the recovery effort will take years and, even then, only if Gaza has unfettered access to the…Read More... | 29 Comments
Israelis and Palestinians licked their wounds during a 3-day cessation of violence, which came to an end Friday morning with renewed fighting. Some Palestinians used the lull in fighting to return to their homes and recover possessions, as well as to retrieve bodies from the rubble of destroyed buildings. Photos by: Anne Paq, Basel Yazouri, Ahmad Al-Bazz, Yotam Ronen, Oren Ziv, Faiz Abu Rmeleh, Keren Manor / Activestills.org Related: Gaza dispatch: 'Death will come and life will go on' IDF soldier: Artillery fire in Gaza is like Russian roulette Gaza dispatch: Why the destruction in Beit Hanoun is differentRead More...
The lies generated by the IDF spokesperson and the media on the Gaza war are still being endlessly quoted for the purposes of propaganda. By John Brown (translated from Hebrew by Sol Salbe) 1. "Hamas is forcing residents to stand on rooftops, leading to their deaths." The claim originated with the killing of six members of the Kware'a family and two others at 2:30 p.m. on July 8. According to the investigation, the family evacuated the house after receiving a phone call from the army, but returned after the "knock on the roof" missile was erroneously assumed to have been the missile…Read More... | 57 Comments
In the tragedy that is the Middle East, we Palestinians have played two roles – the victim or the vilified. But Gaza is changing all that. Gaza is fighting back. “You want to go where?” My colleague and I have just boarded a taxi and named our destination– Rafah. Two days after the Israeli military had sealed Gaza’s southernmost town, claiming Hamas fighters had kidnapped one of its own, few images had emerged of the ensuing destruction. We wanted to see for ourselves. We were not alone, of course. Thousands of families displaced from points north, east and south along…Read More... | 17 Comments
As the ranks of Gaza’s internally displaced continue to grow, communities are forming in the most unlikely places. The Boys Preparatory School “A” is home to hundreds of Palestinians from eastern Rafah, where fierce fighting forced them to flee to the UN-run shelter. The school sits on a quiet street just off Rafah’s Nijmeh Circle, but on August 3, its residents were jarred by an explosion so loud that it left Ashraf Eid’s ears ringing. “I jumped up to go see what was happening,” said Eid, 22, who has been at the school with his extended family for 24 days.…Read More... | 12 Comments
The Israeli army announced Sunday that it had withdrawn most of its troops from Gaza, although no official announcement has been issued to end the 29-day Operation Protective Edge. According to Haaretz, Israeli forces that remain in Gaza are working on destroying one more tunnel near Rafah, while other units are operating in Beit Hanoun. The IDF has decided to keep some forces within Gaza to protect Israeli communities near the border. The decision comes hours after the IDF declared the death of Hadar Goldin, an Israeli lieutenant who was previously believed to have been captured by Hamas militants on…Read More... | 3 Comments
Israel continued to bombard Gaza overnight, as the Palestinian death toll rose to more than 70 after the collapse of Friday's UN and U.S.-brokered 72-hour ceasefire that was supposed to lead to negotiations to end the Israel-Hamas war. Rockets continued to be fired from Gaza into Israel early Saturday morning, with the Iron Dome intercepting some over Tel Aviv and Be'er Sheva. Hamas' armed wing stated Saturday that missing soldier Hadar Goldin may have been killed in Israeli air strikes following the incident in which he was captured and two other soldiers killed Friday. The group claims it has lost contact…Read More... | 4 Comments
Walid Abuzaid offers a look into the everyday reality of living in Gaza during the current violence. As the fighting worsens, he asks why Palestinians should settle when they haven't got the rights they deserve. By Walid Abuzaid Thursday, July 17 It’s 10 p.m. when the power finally returns. The electricity has been down since 11 p.m. last night. The power company said the electricity lines were down during the bombardments and that there’ll only be six hours of electricity every day. I turn on the water heater so I can finally shower in the morning, since Eimar is asleep…Read More... | 20 Comments
Corrie's father expresses hope that the top justices 'understand what it means to protect civilians,' and that they reverse the trend of impunity for the IDF. By Jeremy Elster The Israeli Supreme Court this week heard an appeal on behalf of the family of Rachel Corrie, who was crushed to death by an IDF bulldozer in 2003 outside Rafah, Gaza. At the time, she was non-violently protesting the demolition of Palestinian homes. Her parents, Cindy and Craig Corrie, filed a civil suit against the State of Israel alleging wrongful death but faced a setback in August 2012 when the Haifa…Read More... | 12 Comments
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…Read More... | 25 Comments
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