Saturday, November 29, 2008

For Gazans, one abundant resource: ingenuity

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Coping with lengthy power cuts has become one of the biggest challenges for 1.4 million Gaza residents as Israel's tight blockade of the territory enters its fourth week.

The closure, imposed Nov. 5 to force Gaza's Hamas rulers to halt rocket fire on Israeli border communities, comes after 19 months of sharply restricted access to the territory. The isolation has taken its toll, causing rolling blackouts and shortages of fuel and cooking gas.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Israel sensors the Press

Israel has continued to bar international journalists from the besieged Gaza Strip for at least a week in what media condemned on Monday as an unprecedented violation of press freedom.

Steve Gutkin, the AP bureau chief in Jerusalem and the head of the Foreign Press Association told Ma'an that he knows of no foreign journalist that has been allowed into Gaza in the last week.

Read On

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Leaked Red Cross Report: Chronic malnutrition in Gaza

"People are selling assets, slashing the quality and quantity of meals, cutting back on clothing and children's education, scavenging for discarded materials – and even grass for animal fodder – that they can sell and are depending on dwindling loans and handouts from slightly better-off relatives."

Read on

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Words of Fiction?

A young Palestinian fisherman, Mohammed Ayyash, and Sheikh Kifah, a man highly esteemed in his community- a mediator of conflicts- first met in the Friday fish market near the makeshift port of Gaza City in March of 2007. The atmosphere had been tense as the two opposing political factions Fateh and Hamas had been in conflict challenging each other’s authority to govern a small strip of land that since 1948 was labeled the “Gaza Strip.” Sheikh Kifah had been wandering among the various stalls of the market when fighting broke out and the two men- Mohammed daily sold his catch in the market- found themselves fleeing in the same direction. They took cover in a small alley, hiding behind the shell of an old bullet hole riddled home, as sounds of gunfire filled the air, the two men had exchanged some words. They met again three and a half months later when the young fisherman sought out the sheikh in Zuwaida, a village bordering Mohammed’s hometown Deer Al-Balach.

Sheikh Kifah: Ahlan wa sahlan Mohammed, please come in.

[The two men proceed by inquiring about the wellbeing of each other’s families- since their last encounter heavy internal fighting in Gaza had lead to Hamas’ complete control of the Gaza Strip and the exile of most Fateh leadership. Mohammed then takes the lead in the conversation.]

Mohammed: Sheikh Kifah I should have listened to you when we first met… between you and me I am starting to have my doubts if Hamas is really the answer in Gaza.

Sheikh Kifah: These days are difficult for us all…

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