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GAZA 2014 | Jon Snow ‘annihilates’ Israeli spokesperson …

Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow destroys the Prime Minister of Israel’s Chief Spokesperson, Mark Regev, live on air on British television; questioning Israeli military attacks on Al-Wafa hospital and an attack which killed three young boys playing ball on a Gaza beach while Regev continues to claim “the Israeli military does not target civilians.”

Broadcast date: Wednesday 16th July, 2014.

More at: http://www.channel4.com/newsJon Snow: http://blogs.channel4.com/snowblog

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November 29, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Gaza – Bio, News, Photos – Washington Times

; also referred to as Gaza City) is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 410,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories. – Source: Wikipedia

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October 17, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Gaza – Haaretz.com

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October 13, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Unity Deal Offers Hope for Palestinians and a Respite for Gaza

It was a sobering reality check for a group that, despite years of fiery defiance and arms supplies from Iran, cannot rule Gaza without help from Fatah, the rival faction that controls the Palestinian Authority and was driven out of Gaza in violent clashes 10 years ago.

And for Mahmoud Abbas, the 82-year-old president of the Palestinian Authority, it could amount to a legacy-saving moment in the twilight years of his rule, after years of abject failure to negotiate a peace settlement with Israel. Although he was not in Cairo, Mr. Abbas gave his blessing to the deal, which he hailed as a final agreement, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Israel objects to any reconciliation that does not include accepting international agreements, recognizing Israel and disarming Hamas. A Fatah-Hamas rapprochement would make peace much harder to achieve, Mr. Netanyahu said in a post on Facebook. Reconciling with mass-murderers is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

At a brief ceremony on Thursday at the headquarters of Egypts General Intelligence Service, which shepherded the negotiations, representatives from Hamas and Fatah kissed and embraced amid a smattering of applause from Egyptian and Palestinian officials gathered around them.

The Palestinians did not release the text of the agreement, and there was no mention of the thorny issues that remain unresolved, such as the fate of the main Hamas militia, or the network of tunnels under Gaza used by fighters and weapons smugglers.

But officials from both sides described a series of agreed measures that are due to unfold in the coming weeks, and which they say will both sideline Hamas from the day-to-day running of Gaza and create a political groundswell for a broader deal to reunite the Palestinian territories.

Egypts State Information Service said that the rivals had agreed to hand full control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority by Dec. 1. Palestinian officials said that if the process goes well, Mr. Abbas could visit Gaza in the coming month, his first visit to the embattled coastal strip in a decade.

Egypt has set Nov. 21 for the next step of the process: a meeting in Cairo of all Palestinian factions that, it hopes, will be the start of talks toward a Palestinian unity government. Some Palestinian officials said they hoped such a government could be formed by January.

But much depends on how things transpire in Gaza over the coming weeks.

Under terms of the deal, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority will form a joint police force of at least 5,000 officers, and merge their ministries. One Hamas official said they would negotiate to slim down the bloated civil service, cutting up to 40,000 of the 200,000 jobs.

The reconciliation deal was signed in Cairo on Thursday.

Two elements of the deal promise to quickly ease conditions in Gaza, which aid organizations have called an emerging humanitarian crisis.

The Palestinian Authority has agreed to lift sanctions that it imposed on Gaza this year as part of its effort to pressure Hamas into talks. The government cut electricity supplies to a few hours a day in Gaza and stopped paying government salaries, an important source of income in a besieged territory with a broken economy.

And Hamas will cede control of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, Gazas main lifeline to the outside world. That would allow Egypt to ease stringent cargo restrictions and enable Gazans to travel outside, perhaps the most significant change in the agreement.

But even if the two sides succeed in fully reuniting in the next round of talks, the new arrangement seems unlikely to improve relations with Israel, which has warned that it could not accept a unity government that included Hamas.

Hamas has insisted on its right to maintain control of its arsenal including thousands of rockets, missiles and drones as well as its militia and its network of fortified tunnels.

Across divided Palestine there were cautious celebrations.

In Gaza City, vendors passed out sweets to children in Soldiers Square, a park at the center of town. Mona Khfaja, 37, a pharmacist who said she was unable to leave Gaza to seek treatment for kidney disease, said dissatisfaction with the crushing border restrictions had forced warring Palestinian leaders to the negotiation table.

We do not want the flags of Fatah and Hamas, only the Palestinian flag, she said.

In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Abu Ahmad, 56, said he was wary about getting his hopes up. Many agreements have been signed in the past, but something has always caused these political parties to back away, he said, and Im afraid theres still a chance for that to happen again.

The signing ceremony on Thursday followed two days of talks mediated by Egypts General Intelligence Service. The deal was signed by the deputy leader of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri, and Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of the Fatah delegation.

Officials from both sides offered frank appraisals of the issues that divide them, and that could easily scupper this latest effort. Ayman Rigib, a Fatah negotiator in Cairo, pointed to the status of Hamass Qassam Brigades, with an estimated 20,000 fighters, and Hamass extensive tunnels.

Were worried about the tunnels, Mr. Rigib said. Weve seen Hamas use them in 2014. Will they give us the maps? Will they shut them down? It has not yet been discussed.

Another Palestinian concern is that a unity government involving Hamas could cause the Trump administration to cut funding to the Palestinian territories under congressional rules against funding terrorist organizations. American lawmakers threatened to cut funding in reaction to a similar 2011 deal between Hamas, which the United States designates as a terrorist organization, and the Palestinian Authority. That agreement ultimately fell apart.

The United States gives the Palestinian Authority about $400 million in annual assistance. But for now, with Hamas ceding all administrative control of Gaza, there is little danger that aid would be cut off.

Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the issues yet to be resolved would be the most difficult. Hamas may be willing to cede more administrative control of Gaza, he said, but the parties have so far avoided the issues likeliest to derail the talks: namely the relationship with Israel and what to do with Hamass military wing.

When leaders from Hamas and Fatah signed the 2011 deal, Mr. Abbas said, We have turned the black page of division forever. But the agreement quickly foundered amid opposition from Israel, which denounced it as a victory for terrorism.

This time, a broad Arab coalition is backing the deal, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

This merger is going to cost a lot of money, and they will help us financially, said Ahmed Yousef, an adviser to the Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, referring to Emirati and Saudi support. The Egyptians also clearly got a green light from America. They are obviously trying to cook up something to help end this conflict.

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October 13, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

1.25m students begin new academic year in Gaza – Middle East Monitor

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

According to the Ministry of Education in Gaza, nearly 1.25 million students are heading to 3,000 schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today to begin the new academic year.

The Ministry of Education in Gaza recently announced the opening of nine new schools with complete facilities. These schools will operate based on the two-session system. The ministry also announced it completed the expansion of nine other schools in preparation for the current academic year.

The ministry also completed maintenance on 44 schools making the number of government schools operating during the new academic year 397 attended by nearly 260,000 students.

Read: Gazas tailors stitch together uniforms for the new school year

According to the Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Sidem, Palestinian high school students performed better in their exams in 2007 compared to last year.

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

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1.25m students begin new academic year in Gaza – Middle East Monitor

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

British couple’s message in a bottle reaches Gaza, World News … – AsiaOne


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British couple's message in a bottle reaches Gaza, World News …
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A picture shows the message Palestinian fisherman Jihad al-Soltan found in a bottle off a Gaza beach after it was placed in the water last July by two British …
Couple's Message In A Bottle Travels 800 Kilometres, Reaches GazaNDTV

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Young Girls in the Gaza Strip Flourish Despite Repression – VICE

In 2012, Turkish photojournalist Monique Jaques traveled to the Gaza Strip to document Operation Pillar of Defenseone of the countless battles between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas. What was intended to be an eight-day assignment turned into a five-year-long personal project, Gaza Girls: Growing Up in the Gaza Strip, which documents the lives of young women growing up and coming of age in the tumultuous region. Jaques was motivated by the girls’ tenacity, determination, and passion in spite of the adversity they are forced to endure daily.

“Gaza is a troubled land, and growing up there isn’t easy. It is a 45-square-mile district, isolated by towering concrete blast walls, reams of barbed wire, and foreign soldiers who patrol its perimeters,” Jaques recalls in her artist statement of her time spent there. “After years of blockades and travel restrictions, the territory is isolated and shut off from the rest of the world. At night, the never-ending buzz of drones lull you into a light sleep under their watchful din. If you stand on the beach, you can see lights coming from Israela land that you will never be able to touch. Boundaries and surveillance define your existence.”

Doaa in a friend’s bedroom. Unmarried girls have few places in which to be themselves. Bedrooms and private cars are sanctuaries where girls can sing and dance without being judged by the public or their own families.

The result is constant scrutiny and pressure. The Gaza Striproughly twice the size of Washington, DC, and home to more than 2 million peopleis overcrowded and has been compared to living in an outdoor prison, according to Jaques. With everyone living so close together, and extended families together under one roof, there is little room for privacy. “Add conservative Islam and bored family members looking to gossip to the mix, and it creates tension and pressure for girls figuring out who they want to be,” says Jaques.

For Jaques, this project was not just about finding young girls to photograph and moving on to her next subjectit was about forging bonds between the girls she met. “I worked slowly. I spoke with the girls and knew them well before we started photographing. Many of them I have known throughout the years, but I’m always meeting new people.” Because she was not working to meet a deadline, she was really able to devote her time to make the project more personal. Her favorite part of the project is returning to Gaza to see how these young women have developed and how their lives have changed. “Last week, when I went back, one of the girls I photographed had a baby!”

Jaques hopes that Gaza Girls can expose an underreported side of a very complicated conflict and give people a better understanding of the region and a deeper sense of empathy. “At the end of the day, they’re just girls like you and me,” says Jaques. “They live inside a terribly complicated conflict but think and dream just like we do.”

Through interacting and meeting the Gaza girls, Jaques saw more similarities between the girls she was photographing herself at a young agefrom their interest in clothes and makeup to boys at school. “They have this desire to travel and explore and to be independent like I did at their age,” Jaques says. “But while in the rest of the world we might get to discover those dreams and live them out, they can’t.”

A girl shows off her Palestinian-themed nails after a recent bombing campaign.

Hours after a ceasefire was declared between Hamas and Israel, the people of Gaza City begin to rebuild. Shops open, and families go out to witness the damage incurred by the recent strikes.

Nisreen Shawa, a worker for the Palestinian Medical Relief Foundation at the Hamza Bin Abd-el Muttalib School, where they do art therapy and exercises with girls after the recent bombings.

At a salon in Gaza City, women come to get their hair, nails, and makeup done before weddings. In many families, a woman is not allowed to be seen without a veil by a man outside of her family, so beauty salons are for women only.

Medical students from Islamic University on break in the Maternity Ward of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza

Yara and her brother waiting for their father to return with shawarma as an evening treat after a recent conflict ended.

Hadeel Fawzy Abushar, 25, records a song in a studio in Gaza City. Few female singers remain as families and local government look down on the practice. Hadeel started when she was 12, as all of her sisters are singers.

Madleen Koolab takes Gazans out for rides on Thursday nights, a popular evening for families. Madleen owns the boat and uses it to fish during the week.

For many Gazans, the sea is the only place they can be without being reminded of their isolation. Sabah Abu Ghanem,14, and her sister surf early in the morning outside of Gaza City. The sisters place first in many competitions inside the strip but have never left to compete.

Mannequins wear available clothing in a shop near the main street of Gaza.

Girls watch the sun set at the harbor in Gaza City. While living in Gaza is undeniably tough, being a woman there is harder.

Yara and her friends prepare a dance number during a blackout. Fuel is scarce in Gaza, and many families only receive six to eight hours of electricity a day.

A phone shaped like lips and a prayer rug sit in the corner during a blackout.

A woman walks by a mural discouraging domestic violence outside of Al-Shifa Hospital. According to a 2012 study, some 37 percent of women are subjected to domestic violence by their husbands.

Girls play football in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiyah. Women in Gaza typically do all types of sports till the age of 16, when family pressure forces them to stop as many families seek to find husbands for them.

You can purchase Gaza Girls here, and follow Clara Mokri and Monique Jaques on Instagram.

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Young Girls in the Gaza Strip Flourish Despite Repression – VICE

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Summer Camp In Gaza – Power Line (blog)

Kids in Hamas-controlled Gaza go to summer camp, just like kids in the U.S. They build fires, they play games, they watch movies, they learn new skills. And at the end of the camp, they put on a show for their parents to show what they have learned.

This short video was put together by the Israeli Defense Forces. In just one minute, it explains why peace in that region of the world is so hard to attain. Really, what you see here is child abuse:

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Summer Camp In Gaza – Power Line (blog)

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Is War in Gaza Unavoidable? – Foreign Affairs

Earlier this summer, it seemed like war in the Gaza Strip was inevitable. Israel had accepted Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas request to cut off electricity for the approximately two million Gazans who live under Hamas rule. Abbas hoped to pressure Hamas into relinquishing control over the strip, which was plunged into darkness as the cornered faction faced pressure from Israel and Abbas on one side and Egypt on the other. It seemed only a matter of time before Hamas lashed out. That is, until an unlikely savior emerged: exiled Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan. The archrival of Abbas rushed to Egypt and brokered an agreement between Cairo and Hamas for an emergency fuel shipment. As the situation calmed, Dahlan announced a new arrangement for Gaza: he would raise money for Gaza abroad. In return, Hamas would allow his supporters to return to Gaza and operate freely there.

Yet this latest Middle East agreement is only a temporary fix. Hamas leaders have few goals in common with the exiled leader of their rival party, save two important ones: to ameliorate the hardships of life in Gaza and thwart their mutual rival, Abbas, in the West Bank. The current arrangement ostensibly serves these two purposes, but it does so only in the near term. It may have delayed a war this summer, but it has made a future conflict more likely.

For Hamas, siding with Dahlan was the only realistic option to avoid launching another war. Strapped for cash and facing a restive population (10,000 Gazans marched on Hamas electricity headquarters in January in protest), Hamas was starting to feel the effects of the Saudi and United Arab Emiratesled blockade of one of its patrons, Qatar. Dahlan, too, was desperate for a way to remain relevant. Ever since Abbas exiled him in 2011, the former security chief in Gaza has made his home in the UAE, courting regional favor and pumping money into the Palestinian Territories. Yet Dahlan has been increasingly marginalized in Palestinian

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Is War in Gaza Unavoidable? – Foreign Affairs

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

GAZA 2014 | Jon Snow ‘annihilates’ Israeli spokesperson …

Channel 4 News anchor Jon Snow destroys the Prime Minister of Israel’s Chief Spokesperson, Mark Regev, live on air on British television; questioning Israeli military attacks on Al-Wafa hospital and an attack which killed three young boys playing ball on a Gaza beach while Regev continues to claim “the Israeli military does not target civilians.” Broadcast date: Wednesday 16th July, 2014. More at: http://www.channel4.com/newsJon Snow: http://blogs.channel4.com/snowblog

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November 29, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Gaza – Bio, News, Photos – Washington Times

; also referred to as Gaza City) is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 410,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories. – Source: Wikipedia By Jacob Wirtschafter and Asma Jawabreh – Special to The Washington Times Shares By FARES AKRAM – Associated Press Shares By Aron Heller – Associated Press Shares By Associated Press Shares By FARES AKRAM and JOSEF FEDERMAN – Associated Press Shares By FARES AKRAM – Associated Press Shares By Associated Press Shares By FARES AKRAM – Associated Press Shares By FARES AKRAM – Associated Press Shares By Associated Press Shares By FARES AKRAM – Associated Press Shares By IAN DEITCH – Associated Press Shares By Fares Akram – Associated Press Shares By Associated Press Shares

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October 17, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Gaza – Haaretz.com

Gaza – Haaretz.comskip – Redirect Mobile Usersskip – chrome pushskip – Visual Revenue skip – skip – skip – logo schema for googleskip – skip – googletagmanagerskip – redirectProbability skip – defaultskip – skip – skip – YOYO code HDC site skip – Crazy eggskip – collecting surfing data – responsiveskip – skip – skip – skip – access list by IP scriptskip – skip – skip – misc (midrag scripts)skip – YOYO code HDC site skip – Crazy eggskip – collecting surfing data – responsiveskip – skip – skip – skip – skip – skip – access list by IP scriptskip – skip –

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October 13, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Unity Deal Offers Hope for Palestinians and a Respite for Gaza

It was a sobering reality check for a group that, despite years of fiery defiance and arms supplies from Iran, cannot rule Gaza without help from Fatah, the rival faction that controls the Palestinian Authority and was driven out of Gaza in violent clashes 10 years ago. And for Mahmoud Abbas, the 82-year-old president of the Palestinian Authority, it could amount to a legacy-saving moment in the twilight years of his rule, after years of abject failure to negotiate a peace settlement with Israel. Although he was not in Cairo, Mr. Abbas gave his blessing to the deal, which he hailed as a final agreement, according to Agence France-Presse. The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Israel objects to any reconciliation that does not include accepting international agreements, recognizing Israel and disarming Hamas. A Fatah-Hamas rapprochement would make peace much harder to achieve, Mr. Netanyahu said in a post on Facebook. Reconciling with mass-murderers is part of the problem, not part of the solution. At a brief ceremony on Thursday at the headquarters of Egypts General Intelligence Service, which shepherded the negotiations, representatives from Hamas and Fatah kissed and embraced amid a smattering of applause from Egyptian and Palestinian officials gathered around them. The Palestinians did not release the text of the agreement, and there was no mention of the thorny issues that remain unresolved, such as the fate of the main Hamas militia, or the network of tunnels under Gaza used by fighters and weapons smugglers. But officials from both sides described a series of agreed measures that are due to unfold in the coming weeks, and which they say will both sideline Hamas from the day-to-day running of Gaza and create a political groundswell for a broader deal to reunite the Palestinian territories. Egypts State Information Service said that the rivals had agreed to hand full control of Gaza to the Palestinian Authority by Dec. 1. Palestinian officials said that if the process goes well, Mr. Abbas could visit Gaza in the coming month, his first visit to the embattled coastal strip in a decade. Egypt has set Nov. 21 for the next step of the process: a meeting in Cairo of all Palestinian factions that, it hopes, will be the start of talks toward a Palestinian unity government. Some Palestinian officials said they hoped such a government could be formed by January. But much depends on how things transpire in Gaza over the coming weeks. Under terms of the deal, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority will form a joint police force of at least 5,000 officers, and merge their ministries. One Hamas official said they would negotiate to slim down the bloated civil service, cutting up to 40,000 of the 200,000 jobs. The reconciliation deal was signed in Cairo on Thursday. Two elements of the deal promise to quickly ease conditions in Gaza, which aid organizations have called an emerging humanitarian crisis. The Palestinian Authority has agreed to lift sanctions that it imposed on Gaza this year as part of its effort to pressure Hamas into talks. The government cut electricity supplies to a few hours a day in Gaza and stopped paying government salaries, an important source of income in a besieged territory with a broken economy. And Hamas will cede control of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, Gazas main lifeline to the outside world. That would allow Egypt to ease stringent cargo restrictions and enable Gazans to travel outside, perhaps the most significant change in the agreement. But even if the two sides succeed in fully reuniting in the next round of talks, the new arrangement seems unlikely to improve relations with Israel, which has warned that it could not accept a unity government that included Hamas. Hamas has insisted on its right to maintain control of its arsenal including thousands of rockets, missiles and drones as well as its militia and its network of fortified tunnels. Across divided Palestine there were cautious celebrations. In Gaza City, vendors passed out sweets to children in Soldiers Square, a park at the center of town. Mona Khfaja, 37, a pharmacist who said she was unable to leave Gaza to seek treatment for kidney disease, said dissatisfaction with the crushing border restrictions had forced warring Palestinian leaders to the negotiation table. We do not want the flags of Fatah and Hamas, only the Palestinian flag, she said. In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Abu Ahmad, 56, said he was wary about getting his hopes up. Many agreements have been signed in the past, but something has always caused these political parties to back away, he said, and Im afraid theres still a chance for that to happen again. The signing ceremony on Thursday followed two days of talks mediated by Egypts General Intelligence Service. The deal was signed by the deputy leader of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri, and Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of the Fatah delegation. Officials from both sides offered frank appraisals of the issues that divide them, and that could easily scupper this latest effort. Ayman Rigib, a Fatah negotiator in Cairo, pointed to the status of Hamass Qassam Brigades, with an estimated 20,000 fighters, and Hamass extensive tunnels. Were worried about the tunnels, Mr. Rigib said. Weve seen Hamas use them in 2014. Will they give us the maps? Will they shut them down? It has not yet been discussed. Another Palestinian concern is that a unity government involving Hamas could cause the Trump administration to cut funding to the Palestinian territories under congressional rules against funding terrorist organizations. American lawmakers threatened to cut funding in reaction to a similar 2011 deal between Hamas, which the United States designates as a terrorist organization, and the Palestinian Authority. That agreement ultimately fell apart. The United States gives the Palestinian Authority about $400 million in annual assistance. But for now, with Hamas ceding all administrative control of Gaza, there is little danger that aid would be cut off. Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the issues yet to be resolved would be the most difficult. Hamas may be willing to cede more administrative control of Gaza, he said, but the parties have so far avoided the issues likeliest to derail the talks: namely the relationship with Israel and what to do with Hamass military wing. When leaders from Hamas and Fatah signed the 2011 deal, Mr. Abbas said, We have turned the black page of division forever. But the agreement quickly foundered amid opposition from Israel, which denounced it as a victory for terrorism. This time, a broad Arab coalition is backing the deal, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This merger is going to cost a lot of money, and they will help us financially, said Ahmed Yousef, an adviser to the Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, referring to Emirati and Saudi support. The Egyptians also clearly got a green light from America. They are obviously trying to cook up something to help end this conflict.

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October 13, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

1.25m students begin new academic year in Gaza – Middle East Monitor

New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] According to the Ministry of Education in Gaza, nearly 1.25 million students are heading to 3,000 schools in the West Bank and Gaza Strip today to begin the new academic year. The Ministry of Education in Gaza recently announced the opening of nine new schools with complete facilities. These schools will operate based on the two-session system. The ministry also announced it completed the expansion of nine other schools in preparation for the current academic year. The ministry also completed maintenance on 44 schools making the number of government schools operating during the new academic year 397 attended by nearly 260,000 students. Read: Gazas tailors stitch together uniforms for the new school year According to the Minister of Education and Higher Education Sabri Sidem, Palestinian high school students performed better in their exams in 2007 compared to last year. New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor] New academic year in Gaza on 23 August, 2017 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

British couple’s message in a bottle reaches Gaza, World News … – AsiaOne

AsiaOne British couple's message in a bottle reaches Gaza, World News … AsiaOne A picture shows the message Palestinian fisherman Jihad al-Soltan found in a bottle off a Gaza beach after it was placed in the water last July by two British … Couple's Message In A Bottle Travels 800 Kilometres, Reaches Gaza NDTV all 2 news articles »

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Young Girls in the Gaza Strip Flourish Despite Repression – VICE

In 2012, Turkish photojournalist Monique Jaques traveled to the Gaza Strip to document Operation Pillar of Defenseone of the countless battles between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas. What was intended to be an eight-day assignment turned into a five-year-long personal project, Gaza Girls: Growing Up in the Gaza Strip, which documents the lives of young women growing up and coming of age in the tumultuous region. Jaques was motivated by the girls’ tenacity, determination, and passion in spite of the adversity they are forced to endure daily. “Gaza is a troubled land, and growing up there isn’t easy. It is a 45-square-mile district, isolated by towering concrete blast walls, reams of barbed wire, and foreign soldiers who patrol its perimeters,” Jaques recalls in her artist statement of her time spent there. “After years of blockades and travel restrictions, the territory is isolated and shut off from the rest of the world. At night, the never-ending buzz of drones lull you into a light sleep under their watchful din. If you stand on the beach, you can see lights coming from Israela land that you will never be able to touch. Boundaries and surveillance define your existence.” Doaa in a friend’s bedroom. Unmarried girls have few places in which to be themselves. Bedrooms and private cars are sanctuaries where girls can sing and dance without being judged by the public or their own families. The result is constant scrutiny and pressure. The Gaza Striproughly twice the size of Washington, DC, and home to more than 2 million peopleis overcrowded and has been compared to living in an outdoor prison, according to Jaques. With everyone living so close together, and extended families together under one roof, there is little room for privacy. “Add conservative Islam and bored family members looking to gossip to the mix, and it creates tension and pressure for girls figuring out who they want to be,” says Jaques. For Jaques, this project was not just about finding young girls to photograph and moving on to her next subjectit was about forging bonds between the girls she met. “I worked slowly. I spoke with the girls and knew them well before we started photographing. Many of them I have known throughout the years, but I’m always meeting new people.” Because she was not working to meet a deadline, she was really able to devote her time to make the project more personal. Her favorite part of the project is returning to Gaza to see how these young women have developed and how their lives have changed. “Last week, when I went back, one of the girls I photographed had a baby!” Jaques hopes that Gaza Girls can expose an underreported side of a very complicated conflict and give people a better understanding of the region and a deeper sense of empathy. “At the end of the day, they’re just girls like you and me,” says Jaques. “They live inside a terribly complicated conflict but think and dream just like we do.” Through interacting and meeting the Gaza girls, Jaques saw more similarities between the girls she was photographing herself at a young agefrom their interest in clothes and makeup to boys at school. “They have this desire to travel and explore and to be independent like I did at their age,” Jaques says. “But while in the rest of the world we might get to discover those dreams and live them out, they can’t.” A girl shows off her Palestinian-themed nails after a recent bombing campaign. Hours after a ceasefire was declared between Hamas and Israel, the people of Gaza City begin to rebuild. Shops open, and families go out to witness the damage incurred by the recent strikes. Nisreen Shawa, a worker for the Palestinian Medical Relief Foundation at the Hamza Bin Abd-el Muttalib School, where they do art therapy and exercises with girls after the recent bombings. At a salon in Gaza City, women come to get their hair, nails, and makeup done before weddings. In many families, a woman is not allowed to be seen without a veil by a man outside of her family, so beauty salons are for women only. Medical students from Islamic University on break in the Maternity Ward of Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza Yara and her brother waiting for their father to return with shawarma as an evening treat after a recent conflict ended. Hadeel Fawzy Abushar, 25, records a song in a studio in Gaza City. Few female singers remain as families and local government look down on the practice. Hadeel started when she was 12, as all of her sisters are singers. Madleen Koolab takes Gazans out for rides on Thursday nights, a popular evening for families. Madleen owns the boat and uses it to fish during the week. For many Gazans, the sea is the only place they can be without being reminded of their isolation. Sabah Abu Ghanem,14, and her sister surf early in the morning outside of Gaza City. The sisters place first in many competitions inside the strip but have never left to compete. Mannequins wear available clothing in a shop near the main street of Gaza. Girls watch the sun set at the harbor in Gaza City. While living in Gaza is undeniably tough, being a woman there is harder. Yara and her friends prepare a dance number during a blackout. Fuel is scarce in Gaza, and many families only receive six to eight hours of electricity a day. A phone shaped like lips and a prayer rug sit in the corner during a blackout. A woman walks by a mural discouraging domestic violence outside of Al-Shifa Hospital. According to a 2012 study, some 37 percent of women are subjected to domestic violence by their husbands. Girls play football in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiyah. Women in Gaza typically do all types of sports till the age of 16, when family pressure forces them to stop as many families seek to find husbands for them. You can purchase Gaza Girls here, and follow Clara Mokri and Monique Jaques on Instagram.

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August 23, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Summer Camp In Gaza – Power Line (blog)

Kids in Hamas-controlled Gaza go to summer camp, just like kids in the U.S. They build fires, they play games, they watch movies, they learn new skills. And at the end of the camp, they put on a show for their parents to show what they have learned. This short video was put together by the Israeli Defense Forces. In just one minute, it explains why peace in that region of the world is so hard to attain. Really, what you see here is child abuse:

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed

Is War in Gaza Unavoidable? – Foreign Affairs

Earlier this summer, it seemed like war in the Gaza Strip was inevitable. Israel had accepted Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas request to cut off electricity for the approximately two million Gazans who live under Hamas rule. Abbas hoped to pressure Hamas into relinquishing control over the strip, which was plunged into darkness as the cornered faction faced pressure from Israel and Abbas on one side and Egypt on the other. It seemed only a matter of time before Hamas lashed out. That is, until an unlikely savior emerged: exiled Fatah leader Muhammad Dahlan. The archrival of Abbas rushed to Egypt and brokered an agreement between Cairo and Hamas for an emergency fuel shipment. As the situation calmed, Dahlan announced a new arrangement for Gaza: he would raise money for Gaza abroad. In return, Hamas would allow his supporters to return to Gaza and operate freely there. Yet this latest Middle East agreement is only a temporary fix. Hamas leaders have few goals in common with the exiled leader of their rival party, save two important ones: to ameliorate the hardships of life in Gaza and thwart their mutual rival, Abbas, in the West Bank. The current arrangement ostensibly serves these two purposes, but it does so only in the near term. It may have delayed a war this summer, but it has made a future conflict more likely. For Hamas, siding with Dahlan was the only realistic option to avoid launching another war. Strapped for cash and facing a restive population (10,000 Gazans marched on Hamas electricity headquarters in January in protest), Hamas was starting to feel the effects of the Saudi and United Arab Emiratesled blockade of one of its patrons, Qatar. Dahlan, too, was desperate for a way to remain relevant. Ever since Abbas exiled him in 2011, the former security chief in Gaza has made his home in the UAE, courting regional favor and pumping money into the Palestinian Territories. Yet Dahlan has been increasingly marginalized in Palestinian

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Gaza  Comments Closed


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