•  Palestinians take part in a demonstrations near the border with Israel east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza strip on March 30, 2018. (AFP/Mohammed Abed)



    Muhammad Shehada, Haaretz, April 9, 2018

    Marching in Gaza, my brother risks death - to feel free


    Extracts "My brother in Gaza" :


    My asthmatic younger brother, Salah 18, is scheduled for an urgent eye operation in Egypt, without which he might permanently lose the sight in his right eye. He’s also been awarded a scholarship to study in Algeria, and has been fighting to get out of the Gaza Strip to take up his place for nearly two years, without success.

    His life is being entirely stolen from him by Israel's blockade, yet his future stares back at him just a footstep away, from behind the giant concrete walls that seal Gaza. He’s in a race against time not to lose his sight, his mind, and his life as well.


    Almost every day, my brother shows up for the Gaza "Great Return March," although my mother has desperately tried almost everything to stop him from running bare-chested towards his death.


    The border protests are the only place where it feels that he’s at least doing something about his own slow death, even if only to scream at the top of his lungs, telling the world "We are here!"

    It’s the only place where he and all of my friends in Gaza can catch a breath of freedom, despite the stinging tear gas, even if it's just for a moment.





    Hamas has deployed its security and intelligence personnel to maintain what it sees as the three critical parameters of the protest: independence, non-violence, and no breach of the fence into Israel. The security forces are assigned to prevent individual attempts to disrupt the protest’s non-violence, such as young people trying to throw molotov cocktails towards Israel. Some cases slip their attention; others are dealt with firmly.

    Last Friday, my brother accidentally walked into a tent where the wounded were being attended to. He and his friends were dragged into interrogations by Palestinian internal security personnel for taking photos of the tent and for holding spontaneous interviews with the wounded.


    Hamas, despite remaining dismissive of the protest’s ability to challenge Israel’s blockade, has, like all political parties would have done, jumped with alacrity into the protests to accrue political capital, recognizing the backdrop as an opportune moment for photoshoots, for fueling popular support and to advance its vested interests.

    When Israel responds to the protests with violence, Hamas cheers those dramatic photographs' ability to return Gaza to world headlines, and to concentrate the people’s anger on Israel and its "complicit partner," the Palestinian Authority.




    Hamas hopes the protest will go some way to counter the pressure that's been ramping up since the assassination attempt on Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. The Palestinian Authority initially blamed Hamas for the explosion which targeted Hamdallah's convoy as he was visiting Gaza. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas then threatened to impose even more severe sanctions on Gaza than those that already make the enclave unlivable.

    Hamas hopes the protests will convince Abbas to give the reconciliation a second chance and avoid being blamed by Israel for pouring more fuel into Gaza’s imminent explosion.


    Hamas is also calculating that both Israel and Egypt are watching how swiftly and easily it's mobilized the masses. That's in order that Israel might put pressure on Egypt to ease its part of the blockade to assuage popular tension and anger.


    It would be a mistake for onlookers to assume that Hamas’ hijacking of the protest undermines its authenticity and the genuine pain of Gazans.

    Yes, the protests are being pushed hard, by blanket promotions in street talks, schools, mosques, universities, shops and on taxies, the pictures of Ismail Haniya playing football close to the border, Yahya Sinwar’s inflammatory speeches, and Hamas paying $3000 to the families of the dead (despite the organization itself receiving the tenfold that amount).

    But Hamas cannot drag young people out of bed at gunpoint and shuttle them to the borders to dance to its tune. Young Gazans are making their way there by their own free will.


    Was it not for the misery inflicted by Gaza's status quo, no one would show up for that date with death. Although some have joined out of mere curiosity, to see an area they never dared to step foot in before, and others joined out of national pride, or to simply take photos, many of the people present felt they had to participate in the march to challenge their sense of their own slow and painful deaths.


    Every protestor has a heartbreaking story and a profound reason to stand in front of immediate danger, unarmed. Gazans have been living on the edge of death, starvation and collapse for 11 years, pushing the boundaries for human survival. These grievances can never be faked, and they must be addressed.

    Despite the evident danger, my brother, like most people I know in Gaza, is going to keep showing up at the protests every day, until he perishes - or breaks free.



    Elior Levy, YNet News, April 6, 2018

    The Gazan activist, Ahmed Abu Artima, whose post sparked the March of Return


    Oliver Holmes & Hazem Balousha, The Guardian, April 6, 2018

    Time for peaceful resistance, says Gaza's new movement


    General Eiland interview, David Horovitz, The Times of Israel, April 2, 2018

    Ex-general: I don’t know what IDF could do if 300,000 try to trample Gaza fence


    Leah Solomon, The Times of Israel, April 1, 2018

    If you were Gazan, what would you do?


    Chemi Shalev, Haaretz, March 31, 2018

    Analysis : Gaza Carnage Is a Victory for Hamas – and a Propaganda Nightmare for Israel



    Anshel Pfeffer, Haaretz, March 31, 2018

    Analysis : With Riots and Live Fire, Gaza Just Went 25 Years Back in Time


    Avi Issacharoff, The Times of Israel, March 31, 2018 

    Hamas ‘success’ on Friday presages more protests, more deaths, in more places


    Gisha, March 27, 2018

    Disruptions at Gaza’s crossings


    Gisha, March 14, 2018

    What to do about Gaza?



    Matan Tzuri, YNet News, March 7, 2018

    Gaza perimeter agriculture in peril due to water reservoir contamination


    Gisha, February 14, 2018

    “Open a commercial crossing in the north of the Gaza Strip immediately”


    Amira Hass, Haaretz, February 12, 2018 

    Opinion : Lieberman Is Right, There’s No Crisis in Gaza – This Is Disaster    Extracts : 

    "When senior officials of the Palestinian Authority, particularly Mahmoud Abbas, speak about the “State of Palestine,” which has been recognized by the United Nations, it includes the Gaza Strip. Gaza is needed for their political narrative, but in practice those officials show indifference to the fate of Gaza’s citizens.

    A shortage of 40 percent of the medicines in Gaza’s public health system is not a divine decree. Hamas and Gaza’s residents are right to accuse the Palestinian Authority of deliberately delaying shipments of medicine to pressure Hamas. This is not politically wise, either. Gazans openly criticize the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas.

    The delay of shipments of medicine is not economically wise. Instead of patients being treated in the Gaza Strip, they are belatedly referred for treatment outside. The Palestinian Authority pays, and the cost comes to dozens of times the price of the medicines. What folly!

    Instead of competing over who’s first at burning out medical personnel and cutting their salaries, maybe the leadership of each of the two Palestinian factions could engage in the opposite kind of competition: over who’s first at raising the salaries of medical teams out of recognition of the importance of their work, and their diligence and dedication over the years, for which they have not been rewarded?

    Sosebee said a French volunteer physician came away with the impression that all doctors in the Gaza Strip are depressed; Sosebee called it an epidemic of depression. The doctors know exactly how to treat their patients but they don’t have the means. It’s a depression that’s unconnected to the partial salaries they receive, and it goes beyond the depression of two million imprisoned residents who can’t come and go from the Strip in freedom."


    Elior Levy, YNet News, February 6, 2018

    Situation in Gaza approaches critical point  [Security officials warn 'situation can blow up in our face.']


    Elad Benari, Israel National News, February 1, 2018

    UN envoy: Gaza on verge of 'full collapse'


    Entsar Abu Jahal, Al Monitor, January 3, 2018  [more than 73% of the seawater along the Gazan coast was contaminated last July. Only 23% of the seawater was contaminated before 2014 ]

    New treatment plant to help Gaza's wastewater crisis


    Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man, +972, October 13, 2017

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


    United Nations Country Team in the occupied Palestinian Territory, July 2017

    United Nations Report : GAZA 10 YEARS LATER


    Reuters, YNet News, July 19, 2017

    Gaza health care suffers as Palestinian factions play blame game


    Leah Solomon, The Times of Israel, July 16, 2017   ["Where is our humanity ?"]

    Gaza is burning ["Gazans are invisible; no one is interested anymore. My neighbors are burning. They are mothers, fathers, babies, young couples in love, teenagers, the elderly &  infirm."]


    Adele Raemer, The Times of Israel, July 15, 2017 

     Wake up and smell the danger ["the truth is: Gaza is already uninhabitable — totally — by your and my standards of what we consider habitable, logical, sane"]


    DPA, Haaretz, July 12, 2017

    Gaza's Last Power Plant Just Shut Down, Plunging the Strip Into Darkness  [the coastal enclave in a complete blackout]


    Ma'an News, July 12, 2017  [ UN Rapporteur : "We call on the international community not to turn a blind eye to Gaza"]

    UN: Gaza power shortages deepening already dire humanitarian situation


    Haaretz, July 12, 2017  [as little as four hours of power a day in the sweltering summer heat]

    Gaza Power Watch: How Many Hours of Electricity Did Gaza Get Yesterday


    Raphael Ahren, The Times of Israel, July 12, 2017  ["all of this, at the end of the day, will come back to Israel’s doorstep."]

    Top UN official Nikolay Mladenov warns Gaza electricity crisis will haunt Israel ["“Of all the issues we deal with — the peace process, Palestinian institution building, the region — this is the one issue that keeps me up at night,” ]


    Chloe Benoist, Ma'an News, July 12, 2017  [ UN Report : "Gaza 10 years later" ]

    Interview: UN's Robert Piper says political actors losing sight of suffering in Gaza


    Almog Ben Zikri, Haaretz, July 6, 2017

    Electricity Shortages in Gaza Lead to Beach Pollution Over the Border in Israel


    Sari Bashi, Human Rights Watch, Middle East Eye, June 26, 2017

    Turn Gaza’s Lights Back On


    Elior Levy, YNet News, March 3, 2017

    Volatile and dangerous: a look at the humanitarian crisis in Gaza


    Reuters, YNet News, January 13, 2017

    Mass protest in Gaza amid electricity crisis    "There is no work, no crossings, no food, no water to drink and also there is no electricity," 


     Ayelett Shani, Haaretz, January 7, 2017

    Israeli witness in Gaza: No water, no electricity and children dying unnecessarily


    Jack Khoury, Haaretz, January 7, 2017

    With Only Three Hours of Electricity a Day, Gaza Is 'On Verge of Explosion'


    Amira Hass, Haaretz, December 16, 2016

    Gaza Water Crisis Has Caused Irreversible Damage, World Bank Warns



    Hanine Nassan, Al Jazeera, May 15, 2014

    Open Gaza's seaport, end the blockade

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