The Gaza you’ll never see in the Guardian

H/T IDF, who was responsible for much of the information in this post

The tired narrative advanced by uninformed observers, the mainstream media (and, certainly, more ideologically extreme sites like the Guardian) about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict often includes the flippant cliché that Gaza is a “concentration camp” or an “open air prison” — and that Israel is to blame.

Such lazy characterizations of the situation in Gaza are simply fictitious. 

First, Gaza is ruled by Hamas, a terrorist group sworn to Israel’s destructionand rockets fired from the strip routinely strike southern Israel. So, is it really difficult to comprehend why the IDF can’t allow imports into Gaza without first inspecting the contents to ensure that there aren’t weapons?

Further, not only is there no “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza but, in certain areas of the territory, the economy is booming. Every day, the IDF transfers thousands of tons of goods and gas into Gaza – products delivered to Palestinian merchants and international organizations such as UNRWA.

But some things can’t go in, right?

Wrong.  All items can go in, even dual-use items — those that can be used for both civilian and military purposes, like certain fertilizers that can be used to build rockets.  (Such dual-use items merely require permits, and are typically sent to Gaza via international aid agencies to ensure that they don’t fall into the hands of Hamas terrorists.)

While no single photograph can capture the entire reality of life in Gaza, the common refrains, that Gaza is a “big concentration camp” or a big “prison camp”, are simply lies.

As a 2010 report in the Washington Post described:

“[Gaza] grocery stores are stocked wall-to-wall with everything from fresh Israeli yogurt and hummus to Cocoa Puffs smuggled in from Egypt. Pharmacies look as well-supplied as a typical Rite Aid in the United States.”

Take a look at Gaza as you rarely see it in the media:

The central public library in Gaza. Photo by Laura Goldman
Palestinians shop at the new al-Andulusia mall in Gaza City, August 2011. Photo by Hatem Moussa, AP

Here’s a brief video about the new al-Andulusia mall in Gaza.


More photos from Gaza:

A wedding in Gaza
A street vendor at the Friday market in Gaza City
A cake shop in Gaza City 
The gold market in Gaza City
The Kazem ice cream shop in Gaza
A small boat takes Palestinian leisure-seekers into the Mediterranean Sea for a fare.

Check out these additional photos from Gaza as well as these examples of staged photography.

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