Tag Archive | "Gaza"

Gaza, this “poor desperate place”: Waiting for the end?


NOVANEWS
Misery in the Gaza Strip

How it looks to an anxious family on the inside

By Stuart Littlewood

Every Palestinian I met on my visits to the Holy Land urged me to tell their story when I got home. Some have written to me with very moving accounts of misery and excruciating hardship under Israel’s brutal occupation, reinforcing the appalling truths I’d seen for myself.

Two years ago a young woman, a war-weary mother of three in a Gaza refugee camp, wrote to tell me that schools in Gaza were working in two or three shifts a day, “especially in areas where displaced people of the last war still shelter in UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] schools – they don’t have any other place to go.”

She also said it’s “difficult for us to live or to leave” and “We just dream of leading a decent life.”

Let’s call her Amal, which means Hope in Arabic. The pseudonym is her idea. She has a university degree and her English is remarkably good. Palestinians, especially the women, are very keen on education and determined to pursue it as best they can. Her message powerfully described her little family’s situation in the aftermath of Israel’s seven-week genocidal assault (Operation Protective Edge) the previous year which killed 2,250, mostly civilians, did massive damage to homes and infrastructure, and brought Gaza almost to its knees. She told how she and her neighbours were overwhelmed by death, destruction, grief and chronic deprivation.

I relayed her words in an article titled How on earth do they survive in that ‘hell called Gaza’“? in May 2014.

Amal’s latest email is again in three instalments because of severe power disruption and internet transmission problems. She tells me to edit or rewrite as I think fit, but I’ve hardly touched it. Only a word here and there has been changed for clarity.

Bazaar of bad dreams

  • ”I have nothing new to tell you about except that things are getting a lot worse, so it is frustrating. My grandmother passed away a few months ago and that left me depressed. She was so dear and pretty. She was the last member of my family who witnessed Al-Nakba(1948 Palestinian “catastrophe”) and used to tell us stories about how they were happy there, living peacefully in their homeland, and how they fled or were expelled from their homes.
  • “She told us about massacres, the destruction of Arab villages, years of displacement and oppression, and how we became refugees as a result; and how what is called the state of Israel was declared. My grandmother told us stories like a bazaar of bad dreams about losing everything, and how the members of each family were displaced into the refugee camps in Palestine, refugee camps in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, refugee camps in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and in other parts of the earth, enduring the worst kinds of pain, discrimination and suffering but with hope and faith that we will return one day.
  • ”In the aftermath of the hostilities of June 1967 and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, more refugee camps are established to include new waves of displaced persons. My grandmother is not here to tell us more stories; however, I can’t forget. I’m a refugee by origin and I still live in a refugee camp that lacks adequate facilities and services.
  • ”People in the refugee camps keeps good social relationships but endure extreme poverty, frustration and insecurity. UNRWA barely takes the responsibility to provide the basic services of education, health and social services. May your soul rest in peace, my grandmother, in a place where you no longer suffer the injustice of being a Palestinian from Gaza.

Punished by the Palestinian Authority, their own people

  • ”In the besieged enclave of the Gaza Strip you don’t know where to begin when talking about humanitarian crises. Electricity is still a luxury and we receive up to two hours in 24 hours as a recent agreement between the Palestinian Authority and Israel reduces Gaza’s electricity by another 40 per cent. It is one of several punitive measures by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank against Hamas’s de facto government in Gaza. These measures included a 30 per cent cut in the wages of employees of public sector in Gaza, which means that more households are falling under the poverty line.
  • ”Due to the horrible rates of poverty and unemployment an employee has to provide for his own family and some of his relatives’ households as well. Those employees were told by the PA to stop attending their workplaces following the military coup in 2007 and they stay at home with severe social and psychological strains. Some of them committed suicide or crimes.
  • ”Another punitive measure includes the very poor families which benefit from the social safety net as thousands of them have their humble benefits cut. The worst one is the cutting of medical supplies and medications, threatening the lives of thousands of persons who suffer serious illnesses. The referral system to West Bank hospitals is cancelled too.
  • ”The acute shortage in power has become a water catastrophe as it affects the availability of water for household use, with supply being dangerously low resulting in even poorer quality of water. The inability to treat the wastewater in Gaza due to the lack of electricity is threatening to contaminate the water supplies. The pumping of untreated wastewater into the sea poses a major risk of environmental and health hazards and deprives people of the only entertainment place. Fuel reserves for hospital generators will run out soon with obvious threats to the wellbeing of patients.
  • ”Weather is unexceptionally hot this summer which increases the suffering of people whose utmost wish becomes to drink cold water or to run the fan. It is really a dilemma!

Hamas chiefs living it up

  • ”The Rafah crossing [to Egypt] is closed. It has been opened for very few days only in 2017. More than 30,000 persons are registered to get out Gaza for critical reasons. Those who have no pressing reasons to get out Gaza may include me and the rest of Gaza’s residents. It is like a joke – I don’t own a passport as I can’t dream to use it.
  • ”Egypt uses the military instability in Sinai as an excuse for not opening the crossing. I really can’t describe in words the suffering of people who need to leave Gaza for medical treatment and educational scholarship abroad, and people with residential and business or professional dealings. You can simply imagine yourself as a prisoner.
  • ”I don’t mean to disturb you with all this amount of bad circumstances with no prospect of detente or even easing of strains. I don’t know how much we can really bear this. The most important thing which we all think about is why the Hamas regime is determined to stick to governing this poor, desperate place called Gaza.
  • ”It’s simply because Hamas members are leading luxurious lives in Gaza. They own money and power to solve their problems. They live in palaces, drive 4×4 vehicles, have their electricity generators and free fuel to run them, got jobs for themselves and their wives and sons, run their own businesses and collect as much as taxes for themselves. They implement an external agenda and receive support from several countries, mainly Qatar and Iran.
  • ”On the other side, President Abbas in the West Bank punishes only Gazan people and his measures don’t hit the internal or external interests of Hamas. Also, Egypt punishes our people by closing the borders. The international community doesn’t care, especially in view of the many other hot-spots in the Middle East that attract attention and support. In such a context, holding out hope (Amal) that conditions will improve is against all logic. It is the same like holding out hope of returning to historic Palestine.”

So hope is dwindling for Amal and her family, and for all the others trapped in Gaza with nowhere to run and no means to escape. They can only pray the almost daily Israeli air-strikes miss them as they await with dread the next major blitz, which will surely reduce Gaza to an uninhabitable ruin.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, GazaComments Off on Gaza, this “poor desperate place”: Waiting for the end?

Gaza: Life under Siege


NOVANEWS

Dear friends and colleagues

PCHR will resume working on the narratives.

This year coincides with the tenth anniversary of the illegal and inhumane collective punishment of two million people who live on the 365 square kilometer area that is the Gaza Strip. The PCHR continuously documents and reports on the illegality of the siege to raise awareness and foster accountability, but these reports do not emphasize the personal, the human story and the real pain and suffering of the two million Gazans. The narratives are dedicated to the latter, they seek to highlight the intolerable suffering of ordinary people as a result the siege by giving the victims a face and a voice and telling their own personal story.

 الوصف: narative

Life under Siege: Artist of War

Mohammed Abu Hashish, a young and skilled Gazan sculptor, matured in very harsh conditions due to the occupation. He had to overcome many obstacles and, instead of surrendering, decided to portray his anguish and grief in high-end art pieces.

Mohamed was born in Rafah on November 11, 1988 and raised in a big family consisting of a father, a mother, three girls and four boys. Like most kids in Gaza he studied at UNRWA schools, where he started to develop a passion for art at an early age and revealed it by drawing humble pieces on the board. At the time, artistic skills were given no attention nor encouragement in school and his decision to study fine arts at al-Aqsa University did not bring him any recognition by society either. However, his talent was quickly recognized by his professor, who offered him a job at his private interior design business. With his help, Mohammed developed connections with other interior architects in the country, gained experience, opened his own atelier and started giving arts classes to school children.

His journey was put on hold during the 2014 offensive, which had a major impact on Mohammed’s life on both a personal and professional level. His family lost a son, Hani, who for Mohammed “wasn’t just a brother or a friend; he was also my assistant in work”. The connection the two brothers had was indescribable, Mohammed said with his eyes full of tears.

The family received the news of Hani’s death on Monday July 23 2014, during Iftar time. They were asked to go to the hospital to identify the body. Hoping and praying to god not to find his brother in the hospital’s mortuary, he recognized Hani’s black shirt and navy pants, reminding him of the last time he saw his brother. Mohammed adds with a shiver how “the bodies were carbonized, and unrecognizable”. As he describes, “the structure of the skull was absent, the head’s skin was torn apart, there was no body, just a part of one shoulder, the spine, one leg and another half of a leg.” Mohammed’s eyes were full of tears, while saying that “if I knew he would leave the house and never comeback, I wouldn’t have let him go”.

For a while Mohammed gave up on life and could not do any art – it seemed as if life had stopped. However, he already had an idea for an exhibition before the war, inspired by the emotional experience of finding a baby’s dead body while burying his own grandmother. The experience of losing his brother and seeing the humiliating condition his body was in, strengthened his feeling that every human being deserves to live and be buried in dignity. After a year of grieve, Mohammed returned to his atelier and started a project of producing pieces of hands and feet made of beeswax. The texture of beeswax portrayed honesty to him and he thought that the dimensions and aesthetics of it would resemble the human body, particularly as the color is very close to the human skin. Inspired by his dead brother, Mohammed did not want the project to focus on his personal experience only, but to be devoted to civilian victims of war in general. He created nine pieces from beeswax, which became to be the art pieces for his exhibition “Karamat”.

الوصف: narative2

The exhibition’s title derived its meaning from human dignity, and honor, resembling the Palestinians daily struggle for values the Occupying Power tries to take from them. Karamat reflected the brutal and sad reality Palestinians live in today. The importance of the exhibition was not only to display art, but to show the personal human shock Mohammed and hundreds of families have faced. The 2014 Israeli offensive resulted in the killing of 2,216 Palestinians – of whom many were buried with their body parts missing. No one on earth would tolerate burying a sibling, relative or a friend with half of their body missing. The sophisticated pieces reflect the passion, anger and frustration triggered by war. They symbolize the concept of life and death.

Despite the closure, the tragic consequences of the restricted freedom of movement and hard living conditions, Mohammed participated in several local and international exhibitions and workshops. Among them are: “Our Diaries in Gaza”, which was exhibited in Amman; “Traces”, an exhibition held in Ramallah; and “Blooming Ideas”, which was shown in Gaza, Jerusalem and other parts of Palestine. For his outstanding contribution to the sculptural field, he won Gaza’s First Festival prize for Fine Arts in 2010. His latest and most important exhibition, Karamat, was held in cooperation with the Qattan foundation and the French Cultural Center. Despite the severe restrictions on the movement of civilians and goods by the Israeli forces, Israel was unable to stop Mohammed in his ambition to reveal his artwork to the world.

PCHR seeks to emphasize cases like Mohammed’s to show how the closure affects their everyday life. They are civilians asking for their fundamental rights. The notion of human rights is regularly being violated as Palestinians are subjected to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The collective punishment imposed by Israel as well as the 2014 offence had disastrous consequences on the lives of about 1.8 million people.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Gaza, Human RightsComments Off on Gaza: Life under Siege

Special relationship between Israel and the United States goes deep


The special relationship between Israel and the United States goes deep…real deep. It’s based on security, conflict and most of all money. Most of it for the Israeli military. But with over 1,400 killed and 8,200 wounded (and counting) in Gaza in July and the Israeli military’s long list human rights abuses, is this special relationship worth the price?The federal reserve is a privately owned Jewish bank, look it up.. American politicians are bought and paid for by Jewish dollars printed out of thin air!

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Al-Quds day is international Solidarity of the legitimate rights of the Palestine.


Al-Quds day is international Solidarity of the legitimate rights of the Palestine.
Do not forget to participate in Al-Quds day rally to support the downtrodden and condemn Neo-Racism and Genocide in Palestine.

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Nazi have banned construction material in Gaza.


 

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