Imagine living in a place so impoverished that attempting either to find a job or to leave is a foreign concept. This is a reality for two million people in Gaza right now, taking shelter in an abandoned prison after the Israeli airstrikes of July 2014. Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli military operation, damaged or left altogether in ruins more than 96,000 homes and killed 2,000 Gazan men, women, and children. As Haggai Matar reports for the web magazine +972, “The donor states that have pledged to transfer money have yet to do so, re-building is going nowhere, many are still seeking refuge in UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency] schools.”
After the Egyptian government banned Hamas’ military wing, accusing it of being a “terrorist organization,” Egypt reinforced the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which prevents exports via land, air, and sea to Gaza. Egypt also destroyed all tunnels into Sinai and is keeping the Rafah crossing closed. Additionally, they demolished parts of Rafah to construct a barrier between the city and Gaza, adding to the damage already done.
The toll of Operation Protective Edge includes not only the deaths of Gazans and the obliteration of Gaza City; it has also thwarted opportunities for compromise between Fatah and Hamas. As a result, Hamas is being pushed out of the political circles of the southern Arab states and “back into arms of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.”
Source: Haggai Matar, “Do Israelis have any idea how bad it is in Gaza?” +972, February 17, 2015, http://972mag.com/do-israelis-have-any-idea-how-bad-it-is-in-gaza/102883/.
Student Researcher: Ivy Pannepacker (College of Marin)
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)