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A Week in Photos: Survivors, art and destruction in Gaza

Ten photos from Gaza — of survivors and the devastated urban landscape seven months after the last Israeli offensive.

Photos by Anne Paq/Activestills.org

This week marks seven months since Israel’s war in Gaza last summer, “Operation Defensive Edge.” During the course of the war, over 2,200 Palestinians were killed. Tens of thousands are still homeless due to Israeli strikes. Almost no reconstruction has taken place because of Israeli and Egyptian restrictions on the import of raw materials into the Strip.

The following are images from the Gaza Strip in the past week, March 17-25, 2015, showing the destruction, the lives of survivors, memories of the dead and daily life in the besieged strip of land.

Elizabeth Tanboura stands with three of her daughters: Sundos, Malak, and Marwa (right), in front of their destroyed home in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, March 19, 2015. Elizabth's husband, Radad, and their children Ahmed (15) and Amna (13), were killed during an Israeli attack on August 25, 2014. Two other boys survived because they were not in the house at the time of the attack.

Elizabeth Tanboura stands with three of her daughters: Sundos, Malak, and Marwa (right), in front of their destroyed home in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, March 19, 2015. Elizabth’s husband, Radad, and their children Ahmed (15) and Amna (13), were killed during an Israeli attack on August 25, 2014. Two other boys survived because they were not in the house at the time of the attack.

Issam Joudeh sits where an Israeli attack killed four of his children and his wife in the Tel Al-Za'tar neighborhood of Jabaliya, Gaza Strip, March 19, 2015. Israeli forces attacked the yard of the family's home without any warning on August 24, 2014. Three children survived, one of them Thae'er had his leg amputated and is still in Germany where he is receiving medical treatment.

Issam Joudeh sits where an Israeli attack killed four of his children and his wife in the Tel Al-Za’tar neighborhood of Jabaliya, Gaza Strip, March 19, 2015. Israeli forces attacked the yard of the family’s home without any warning on August 24, 2014. Three children survived, one of them Thae’er had his leg amputated and is still in Germany where he is receiving medical treatment.

A photo of Abdallah Abdel Hadi Al Majdalawi amid the ruins of his home, Gaza Strip, March 19, 2015. Abdallah (13) was killed alongside his brother Abdelrazek (19) and his cousins Rawan (9) and Mahmoud (8), by an Israeli attack which took place without any warning on August 3, 2014. The attack also destroyed the adjacent home of Ahmed Al Majdalawi.

A photo of Abdallah Abdel Hadi Al Majdalawi amid the ruins of his home, Gaza Strip, March 19, 2015. Abdallah (13) was killed alongside his brother Abdelrazek (19) and his cousins Rawan (9) and Mahmoud (8), by an Israeli attack which took place without any warning on August 3, 2014. The attack also destroyed the adjacent home of Ahmed Al Majdalawi.

Ahmed al-Nashash, 50, stands in front of a closet that still contains clothes belonging to his sons, who were killed during the last Israeli offensive, Rafah City, Gaza Strip, March 18, 2015. The al-Nashash family was fleeing attacks on July 27, 2014, when they were struck by an Israeli missile some 100 meters from their home. Seven members of the family were killed, including his wife of Ahmad, Hana (45), and their five sons. Two of his daughters, Meena (4) and Fatma (2) survived.

Ahmed al-Nashash, 50, stands in front of a closet that still contains clothes belonging to his sons, who were killed during the last Israeli offensive, Rafah City, Gaza Strip, March 18, 2015. The al-Nashash family was fleeing attacks on July 27, 2014, when they were struck by an Israeli missile some 100 meters from their home. Seven members of the family were killed, including his wife of Ahmad, Hana (45), and their five sons. Two of his daughters, Meena (4) and Fatma (2) survived.

Gaza Strip artist Raed Issa during the opening of his exhibition, "Simple Dreams," in the Eltiqua Gallery in Gaza City, March 23, 2015. The exhibit included some of his destroyed paintings that he salvaged from the ruins of his home. Issa’s home, which included his studio, was destroyed by an Israeli attack last summer. Raed lost many paintings and art materials.

Gaza Strip artist Raed Issa during the opening of his exhibition, “Simple Dreams,” in the Eltiqua Gallery in Gaza City, March 23, 2015. The exhibit included some of his destroyed paintings that he salvaged from the ruins of his home. Issa’s home, which included his studio, was destroyed by an Israeli attack last summer. Raed lost many paintings and art materials.

Graffiti is seen in on rubble in the destroyed quarter of Shujaiya, east of Gaza City, March 21, 2015. The rubble is being recycled to produce low quality concrete.

Graffiti is seen in on rubble in the destroyed quarter of Shujaiya, east of Gaza City, March 21, 2015. The rubble is being recycled to produce low quality concrete.

Palestinians walk through a destroyed quarter of Al-Shaaf neighborhood, in Al-Tuffah, east of Gaza City, March 21, 2015. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are still internally displaced and many are living in very dire conditions.

Palestinians walk through a destroyed quarter of Al-Shaaf neighborhood, in Al-Tuffah, east of Gaza City, March 21, 2015. Tens of thousands of Palestinians are still internally displaced and many are living in very dire conditions.

Palestinians drive through a destroyed quarter of Al Shaaf neighborhood, in Al Tuffah, east of Gaza City, March 21, 2015.

Palestinians drive through a destroyed quarter of Al Shaaf neighborhood, in Al Tuffah, east of Gaza City, March 21, 2015.

A Palestinian removes rubble from a destroyed quarter of Al Shaaf area, in Al Tuffah, east of Gaza City, March 21, 2015. The rubble is then recycled to produce low quality concrete for reconstruction.

A Palestinian removes rubble from a destroyed quarter of Al Shaaf area, in Al Tuffah, east of Gaza City, March 21, 2015. The rubble is then recycled to produce low quality concrete for reconstruction.

 

The ruins of a four-story building belonging Abdul Jawad Mheesin, which was destroyed during the last Israeli military offensive, Gaza Strip, March 25, 2015. The attack killed Nisreen Ahmad (38) and her son Hussein (8), who were living in the adjacent home, as well as Suheir Abu Meddin (43), who was living in the tower and went back inside to take some belongings minutes after a warning missile was fired.

The ruins of a four-story building belonging Abdul Jawad Mheesin, which was destroyed during the last Israeli military offensive, Gaza Strip, March 25, 2015. The attack killed Nisreen Ahmad (38) and her son Hussein (8), who were living in the adjacent home, as well as Suheir Abu Meddin (43), who was living in the tower and went back inside to take some belongings minutes after a warning missile was fired.

 

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    COMMENTS

    1. Shocking. No other words for it.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Yes it is shocking what Hamas and Islamic did in turning urban neighborhoods into battlefields and civilians into human shields. It is shocking that Hamas used civilian homes as command centers, used children as child soldiers, stored rockets in schools, mosques and hospitals, created a tunnel system running under civilian areas connecting to Israeli territory for military operations. It is shocking that Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired rockets and mortars from areas next to schools, mosques and hospitals and from the deepest and densest areas of civilian Gaza.

        It is even more shocking that the PA and Abbas formed an unity government with Hamas which does not require Hamas and Islamic Jihad to put down their arms. It is doubly shocking that the PA is allowing Hamas and Islamic Jihad to rearm to fight another war from the midst of Gaza’s civilian population.

        Reply to Comment
      • Abdl Hatab

        It is indeed shocking that some 8 months after the destruction, Palestinians have not managed to clear the streets, except for the narrowest path possible. Nor have they done anything to rebuild, except ask for billions $ and threaten with more bombardment of Israeli cities if the money does not come in quick enough.
        The most prominent Palestinian feature is to never take responsibility for any of their own actions. Pick up the trash from your own streets, start rebuilding homes with what ever you can. Palestinians have received more money from donors than Germany and Japan received, combined, after WWII, yet they managed to build nothing but terror apparatus, and 70! yes 70 different security institutions.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          Don’t you find, Pedro and Abdullah, that “self-hating Jews” who merely condemn some of Israel’s crimes are so much nicer than the “hating Jews” who condone this monstrous evil?

          Reply to Comment
    2. eugenia

      mucha tristeza y fuerza para las familias palestinas que siguen resistiendo! free palestina!

      Reply to Comment
    3. Pedro X

      What you will not see on Active Stills is the Hamas tunnels being reconstructed, the Hamas missile production facilities, rocket tests shooting rockets into the sea, jihad training camps for Gazan children and youth, the Hamas taxation authorities who tax anything coming into the strip or Hamas’ army in waiting. You will not see pictures of Hamas or Islamic rallies where shouts of “kill the Jews” are recited like holy scripture.

      Active Still will not show the faces of Hamas or Islamic commanders who operated from family homes which were targeted during the war. The Martyr posters adorn much of Gaza. One cannot miss them. Yet Active Stills will not mention the names of militants who were killed in homes where families lived and died with the militants and their leaders. Active Stills will not question why Hamas and Islamic Jihad used civilian homes and families as human shield for their military activities. They will ignore these war crimes.

      For instance take the Israeli strike of the al-Bakri family on August 4, 2014. In the attack the mother and two girls were killed. Mr. al-Bakri survived. When he was interviewed he claimed he had no ties to militant factions. He said he had no idea why Israel killed his family. However, one of those killed in the house was not named al-Bakri, but Ibrahim al-Misharawi. Why was he there? He was an unrelated male who was an Islamic Jihad fighter and a commander. Then there was another Islamic Jihad fighter killed named Ramadan Kamal al-Bakri. MAG released news this past week that another top Islamic commander,Omar Al-Rahim, was severely injured in the strike and was the target of the strike.

      So here, despite all the crocodile tears and lies of the father, there was a senior Islamic commander, another commander of less stature and a related male member who was an Islamic Jihad fighter in the house when it was bombed. The al-Bakri house was a senior command post, a military target.

      Elder of Zion in August and July ran a number of articles pointing out family houses in Gaza were often used to house militants and their commanders which resulted in many Palestinian families sacrificing their family members as human shields for Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

      So, it would be most appropriate for Active Stills to run pictures of the Hamas and Islamic terrorists who used each family home bombed by the Israelis without a warning for the terrorists to take flight first.

      Of course, Active Stills would never publish anything to suggest that the Palestinians had any responsibility for the death and destruction in Gaza.

      Reply to Comment