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Photos of the week: Gazans search for normalcy among the ruins

What does life look like in Gaza after both the Israeli army and the media leave?

Photos and Text: Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org

People in Gaza are lost and uncertain. They cannot fathom what happened to them, and they cannot predict what might happen in the few next days. People whose houses were destroyed are living in schools. Those whose houses are still standing or damaged came back to live in them, but don’t know how long they can stay. Many even went back to living in schools out of fear that the ceasefire will end.

In Beit Hanoun, people are doing nothing – just waiting for news. They haven’t cleaned their houses or done the normal tasks of daily life. They just returned to their houses because living in the schools is too difficult.

Palestinian man look toward the ruins of Beit Hanoun, North Gaza Strip, August 11, 2014.  According to OCHA, during the current attack, 16,800 Homes in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed or severely damaged and 370,000 displaced People hosted at UNRWA, government shelters and with host families. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian man looks at the ruins of Beit Hanoun, North Gaza Strip, August 11, 2014. According to OCHA, 16,800 homes in the Gaza Strip were destroyed or severely damaged,while 370,000 displaced people went to live in UNRWA government shelters or with other families. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian woman walks between the ruins of Beit Hanoun, North Gaza Strip, August 12, 2014.  (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

A Palestinian woman walks between the ruins of Beit Hanoun, North Gaza Strip, August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinian retrieves what belongings he can carry from their homes in Beit Hanoun, North Gaza Strip, August 12, 2014.  (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Palestinians retrieve whatever belongings they can carry from their homes in Beit Hanoun, North Gaza Strip, August 12, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Destruction in Beit Hanoun following bombardment by Israeli forces, North Gaza Strip, August 11, 2014.  (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Destruction in Beit Hanoun following bombardment by the Israeli military, North Gaza Strip, August 11, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Destruction in Beit Hanoun following bombardment by Israeli forces, North Gaza Strip, August 11, 2014.  (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Destruction in Beit Hanoun following bombardment by Israeli forces, North Gaza Strip, August 11, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Gazans who evacuated their houses live in makeshift tents at Al-Shifa Hospital, August 9, 2014.  (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Gazans who evacuated their houses live in makeshift tents at Al-Shifa Hospital, August 9, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Palestinians shop for food in Gaza City during a ceasefire, August 6, 2014.  (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Palestinians shop for food in Gaza City during a ceasefire, August 6, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Gazans who evacuated their houses to find emergency shelter try to go on with the activities of daily life, Al-Shifa Hospital, August 9, 2014.  (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Gazans who evacuated their houses to find emergency shelter try to go on with the activities of daily life, Al-Shifa Hospital, August 9, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Al-Shifa Hospital, August 9, 2014. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (as to August 10), 9,986 Palestinians, including 3,009 children and 359 elderly, have been injured. Death toll in Gaza reached 1,965 Palestinians, including 1,417 civilians, of whom 458 are children and 238 are women. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Al-Shifa Hospital, August 9, 2014. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health (as of August 10), 9,986 Palestinians, including 3,009 children and 359 elderly, have been injured. The death toll in Gaza has reached 1,965 Palestinians, including 1,417 civilians, of whom 458 are children and 238 are women. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

 

Gazans walk on streets in darkness after the Israeli bombing of the main electricity plant caused a continuous 7-day power cut throughout the Gaza Strip, August 9, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Gazans walk on streets in darkness after the Israeli bombing of the main electricity plant caused a continuous 7-day power cut throughout the Gaza Strip, August 9, 2014. (Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org)

Related:
Gaza dispatch: When tanks shell refugee camps
PHOTOS: Gaza’s half-million internally displaced
Refugees once again: Gazans who lost their home wonder what’s next

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    1. Pedro X

      “People in Gaza are lost and uncertain. They cannot fathom what happened to them”

      Obviously these people are feigning collective amnesia. People in Gaza in the past had freedom to go anywhere in Gaza, Egypt, the West Bank or Israel. 40% of the population found employment in Israel. Because of terrorism from Gaza in the 1990s, a security fence was built. Continuing violence and terrorism during the second intifada resulted in the closing of access of the Gazans to Israel and the West Bank. When Israel removed its soldiers and civilians from Gaza, Hamas used the former Israeli communities for military bases and firing rockets into Israel.

      Gazans then elected Hamas in January, 2006 to represent them even though Hamas promised unending war against Israel until Israel was destroyed and all the Jews killed. Within 6 months of being elected Hamas attacked Israel in a cross border attack, killed soldiers and kidnapped Cpl Shalit. Israel hit Gaza hard and about 1300 Gazans were killed. Since then Hamas has engaged in 3 wars with Israel. During each war Gaza has suffered from Israeli strikes.

      For the current war Hamas dug a military complex deep within Gaza’s civilian population and not in the countryside. Whole neighborhoods were transformed into the Hamas war machine. The building of tunnels and emplacement of launchers were not invisible to the citizens of Gaza. Hamas even issued an edict to its civilians not to tell anyone the location of these launchers because it knew the public was aware of what it had done.

      The people of Gaza did nothing to protest Hamas from drawing them into wars. Instead Gazans cheered, handed out sweets and cheered Hamas’ exhortations to kill the Jews.

      Gazans knew Hamas was preparing for war and war would come. They cannot now feign that they do not know why.

      Reply to Comment
      • sh

        The people of Gaza – to be more precise, about 80% of them – are families who turfed out of homes now destroyed, inside the borders of pre-1967 Israel. Many of Gaza’s residents still live in refugee camps.

        You prefer to forget that there’s a reason for continued opposition from those people and instead ask rhetorical, disingenuous questions. Focus at least one eye on the ball. How do you propose they remind you that notwithstanding the jobs you think they should have thanked you for, there were issues still outstanding that needed our attention?

        Reply to Comment
        • Pedro X

          Israel attempted many times in the past to address issues and obtain peace for all. After the 1967 war Israel proposed to return Judea and Samaria to Jordan and Gaza to Egypt in return for recognition and peace. The Arabs said no peace, no recognition and no negotiations. The Arabs prepared for war, a war of attrition followed by the Yom Kippur War.

          In 1978 both Egypt and Israel offered Palestinians autonomy and a place at the peace table. The Palestinians refused and instead shelled Northern Israel and carried out terrorist acts from Lebanon against Israel leading to the 1982 war.

          In 1991 and 1993 attempts were made to address Palestinian concerns. Within a week of the signing of the Oslo Accords Hamas and other terrorist organizations, including the Al-Asqa Martyrs Brigade commenced a war of terrorism against Israeli citizens.

          Peace talks in 2000 and 2001 faltered under the weight of Palestinian terrorism. Palestinians walked away from Olmert’s peace offered and war broke out in Gaza in December of 2008.

          Peace talks in 2013 and 2014 resulted in terrorist activity, the Shin Bet having thwarted 284 attacks in 2013 and the first half of 2014.

          The Palestinians use terrorism as their diplomacy even though it has failed them from 1947 onwards. Palestinians know the cost of terrorism and were willing to pay the installment payment which was due with starting the 2014 Gaza War.

          The Germans and Japanese learned their lessons in 1945 and gave up their murderous ambitions. When will Palestinians give up their dream of destroying Israel?

          Reply to Comment
          • Noevil9

            Repeating false information does not make them true, no matter how many times you try. That is inspite of what Hasbara guide book keeps telling you. Those deceitful lies made up by Israel and Zionists around the world are being exposed day by day, no matter how shifty you and Hasbara are in trying to change the focus from Israel crimes for the last 100 years ,not just 66 years against the Palestinians. Its clear to decent/ intelegent people that Israel has acted in an opportunistic manner to rationalize/ creat excuses to throw off people from realizing that the facts on the ground of what Israel does, and what it says are two different things, specialy about its intention to find and create peace with the Palestinians. All it does , is kill more Palestinians, demolish more of their homes and steal more land. That all has been consistent , while its unleashing its Hasbara lies about peace. Its very clear all we need is just look at the facts on the ground to realize it and discredit all Israel trolls!

            Reply to Comment
        • david shalev

          The reason of opposition has far more to do with the premium Islam places on martyrdom than anything else. The militant Muslims are far more willing to commit terrorist attacks than actually improve their lot. If Jews had 99.9 percent of the land in the Middle East, rest assured they would not be committing suicide bombings to obtain the other 0.1 percent. Arab conflict resolution is inherently violent as we can see in the INTERNAL Arab conflict in Syria.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Kiwi

      What Hamas did in Gaza is a form of suicide bombing.

      Hamas deliberately sacrificed their own population in a war they know they cannot win militarily. Their idea is to stoke hatred of Israel and Jews worldwide by parading their dead and injured on the TV screens of people in the world who don’t know the history of this conflict.

      But people are waking up to Hamas. Slowly and surely. Many thinking people took note of who rejected and broke ceasefires deliberately time and time again in this latest form of madness.

      Reply to Comment