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  • Gaza's humanitarian crisis began long before Hamas

    The deliberate suffocation of Gaza began in the 90s, when the first restrictions on the movement of Palestinians were introduced.  By Amir Rotem A macabre drama has been playing out every Friday along the border fence separating the Gaza Strip and Israel, complete with live broadcasts, press coverage, commentary, and even real-time spectators. An armed military stands on one side of the fence, a mass of angry residents on the other. The world, and let’s admit it, most Israelis, generally prefer not to see Gaza. When they do, it is almost always in the context of a violent escalation. [tmwinpost] The current wave…

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  • EU border monitors have been waiting to go back to Gaza for 10 years

    Gaza's Rafah border may reopen soon now that Fatah and Hamas have agreed to a reconciliation deal. But that doesn't mean that the EU mission, which has been sitting and waiting near Tel Aviv at a cost of millions of euros a year, will be going back to work anytime soon. For the past 10 years, a group of European Union border monitors has been waiting inside Israel for the elusive, far-off moment when they can redeploy to the Gaza Strip, to supervise the border crossing separating Gaza and Egypt. [tmwinpost] If the reconciliation deal between Palestinian factions Fatah and…

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  • Classified: Politicizing the Nakba in Israel's state archives

    Documents that have already been cited in history books are being re-classified in the State Archives. Israeli state archive documents that were de-classified in the 1980s have been re-classified in recent years, according to a recently hired assistant professor at the University of Maryland's Center for Jewish Studies. Shay Hazkani, who was Israel Channel 10's military correspondent from 2004-8 and will soon complete his doctorate at New York University, discusses the background and politics of the state's decision to re-classify various documents in an interview for the Ottoman History Podcast. In the interview, which was recorded in July 2014 (I…

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  • PHOTOS: The Gaza families obliterated in just 51 days

    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:…

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  • One year since Gaza: Why there's no such thing as a 'precision strike'

    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,…

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  • Israel kills three top Hamas commanders in Gaza

    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…

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  • Why the Gaza port matters

    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…

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  • Photos of the week: Taking stock before fighting resumes

    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 different

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  • Debunking Gaza war lies

    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…

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  • Gaza dispatch: 'Death will come and life will go on'

    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…

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  • Refugees once again: Gazans who lost their home wonder what's next

    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.…

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  • Israeli army scales back forces from Gaza; air strike kills 10 in UN-run school

    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…

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  • Hamas: Missing soldier likely killed in Israeli air strike

    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…

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