Where’s the Money? (Excerpt from ‘Fallout in Gaza’) – Vice News Published on Mar 5, 2015


During the devastating 50-day war in Israel and Gaza this past summer, around 18,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed or severely damaged, leaving around 120,000 residents homeless.

Now, with trouble in neighboring Sinai and infighting between Palestinian factions, reconstruction efforts in the beleaguered Gaza Strip are moving slowly. With the UN warning of a growing humanitarian crisis for the people of Gaza, many fear that another armed conflict is imminent.

Six months after the end of fighting, VICE News returns to the region to investigate the progress on reconstruction.

In this excerpt, VICE News correspondent Danny Gold learns of the effects that insufficient aid, coupled with living in temporary or demolished housing, has had on the residents of Gaza.

Trouble in the Tunnel: Fallout in Gaza (Part 2) – Vice News Published on Feb 25, 2015


During the devastating 50-day war in Israel and Gaza this past summer, around 18,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed or severely damaged, leaving around 120,000 residents homeless.

Now, with trouble in neighboring Sinai and infighting between Palestinian factions, reconstruction efforts in the beleaguered Gaza Strip are moving slowly. With the UN warning of a growing humanitarian crisis for the people of Gaza, many fear that another armed conflict is imminent. Six months after the end of fighting, VICE News returns to the region to investigate the progress on reconstruction.

In part two, VICE News correspondent Danny Gold visits the Kerem Shalom crossing with Israel to see what goods are being allowed into the Gaza Strip, and spends time with a resident of Nahal Oz kibbutz, which was attacked by rockets and Hamas soldiers during last summer’s war.

After a War, Still Living in Rubble: Fallout in Gaza (Part 1) – Vice News Published on Feb 24, 2015


During the devastating 50-day war in Israel and Gaza this past summer, around 18,000 homes in Gaza were destroyed or severely damaged, leaving around 120,000 residents homeless.

Now, with trouble in neighboring Sinai and infighting between Palestinian factions, reconstruction efforts in the beleaguered Gaza Strip are moving slowly. With the UN warning of a growing humanitarian crisis for the people of Gaza, many fear that another armed conflict is imminent. Six months after the end of fighting, VICE News returns to the region to investigate the progress on reconstruction.

In part one, VICE News correspondent Danny Gold returns to Shija’iyya, the neighborhood that bore the brunt of last summer’s fighting, and investigates how the closure of the Rafah crossing and demolition of the underground tunnels to Egypt has impacted Gaza’s fragile economy.

Palestinians Flee Gaza After Israel Drops Warning Leaflets – by SCOTT NEUMAN July 13, 2014 8:07 AM ET


Palestinians flee their homes to take shelter at the United Nations school in Gaza City, on Sunday. Israel has dropped leaflets warning residents to leave ahead of stepped up fighting.

Palestinians flee their homes to take shelter at the United Nations school in Gaza City, on Sunday. Israel has dropped leaflets warning residents to leave ahead of stepped up fighting.

Hatem Moussa/AP

This post was updated at 11:00 a.m. ET.

Thousands of people are fleeing a border town in the Gaza Strip after Israel dropped leaflets warning of stepped up attacks on the sixth day of an offensive. Meanwhile, an Israeli commando squad crossed into Gaza today to destroy a Hamas rocket-launching site.

The commando raid is the first incursion of Israeli troops into Gaza since the beginning of the offensive, which Palestinian officials say has killed 160 people.

NPR’s Ari Shapiro, reporting from Jerusalem, says that up until now, it’s been entirely an air war. The deployment of the Israeli commandos, who arrived from Gaza’s Mediterranean side via an amphibious operation, represents “a significant shift, but it’s not yet the all-out invasion that many fear,” Ari tellsWeekend Edition Sunday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated Sunday that the Israeli army was “prepared for any possibility.”

“I don’t know when the operation will end, it might take much more time,”Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks before his weekly Cabinet meeting.

The air-dropped leaflets warned Gaza residents that failure to comply with instructions to evacuate “will endanger their lives and the loves of their families,” according to Reuters. The area is home to at least 100,000 people.

The BBC quotes the Israel’s military as confirming that it dropped leaflets in the area this morning.

“We do not wish to harm civilians in Gaza, but these civilians must know that remaining in close proximity to Hamas terrorists and infrastructures is extremely unsafe,” the IDF said.

Families in the northern border town of Beit Lahiya “are piling their kids and belongings into carts and cars and crowding into schools for shelter,” NPR’s Emily Harris reports from Gaza.

Palestinians in cars, motorbikes and donkey carts are following Gaza’s main road south to escape the fighting, Emily says.

Jamil Sultan, traveling on a cart with two grandchildren tells NPR that he couldn’t sleep last night “because of the shooting and bombing.”

“Then today the Israelis told us to leave,” he says. “They called on the phone and said to go this morning. We left our clothes and personal things at home. We brought things to sleep and sit on.”

The Associated Press says:

“On Sunday, Palestinians with foreign passports began leaving Gaza through the Erez border crossing. Israel, which is cooperating in the evacuation, says 800 Palestinians living in Gaza have passports from countries including Australia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

“U.S. citizen Ahmed Mohana said he had mixed feelings about leaving friends and family behind in the troubled Gaza Strip.

” ‘It is very hard, it is very tough,’ he said. ‘We are leaving our family, our relatives and brothers and sisters in this horrible situation — we have to do what we have to do.’ ”

On Saturday night, Hamas made good on threats to fire rockets on Tel Aviv.

Reuters says:

“Those rockets and the ones unleashed on Sunday were intercepted by the Israeli-built, and partly U.S.-funded, Iron Dome missile defense system that has proved effective against Hamas’s most powerful weaponry.

“No one has been killed by the more than 800 rockets the Israeli military said has been fired since the offensive began, and during Saturday night’s barrage, customers in Tel Aviv beachfront cafes shouted their approval as they watched the projectiles being shot out of the sky.”

 

Article continues:

 

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/07/13/331122214/palestinians-flee-gaza-after-israel-drops-warning-leaflets

Israel And Gaza Struck By Rockets, Bombs And A Sense Of Deja Vu – by DANIEL ESTRIN July 12, 2014 5:37 AM ET


A convoy of Israeli tanks roll near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on Friday. There's a sense of repetition to the violence in the region, as Hamas fires rockets at Israel and Israel responds with bombs and the threat of a ground invasion.

A convoy of Israeli tanks roll near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip on Friday. There’s a sense of repetition to the violence in the region, as Hamas fires rockets at Israel and Israel responds with bombs and the threat of a ground invasion.

Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images

The violence between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip has taken on a grisly repetition: This is the third time in five years that Israel has bombed Gaza in response to Hamas rocket fire.

And as Israel considers what would surely be a bloody ground invasion, it’s unclear what such an operation would hope to achieve — or how much things would change.

Near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, a 13-year-old Israeli named Moshe Aflalo cups his hands over his mouth and does a spot-on imitation of the sirens that warn of incoming rockets from Gaza. It’s a sound that haunts him. On Thursday, a rocket landed in his neighbor’s backyard, right across the street.

He says when the rocket struck, he was hysterical. But this isn’t new.

His mother, Mazal, says he’s been like this since the last time Israel and militants in Gaza had an intense round of fighting, a year and a half ago. Since then, Moshe wakes up scared in the middle of the night and runs to sleep in her bed. He can’t concentrate on his studies unless he’s in his school’s bomb shelter. And now, as fighting has resumed, Mazal Aflalo says she doesn’t think the Israeli army can stop Hamas militants from ruining their lives.

More On This Conflict

“Even when there’s quiet, it won’t last,” she says. “They’ll start these attacks again.”

There is a sense of deja vu to this offensive. There was a major battle in the winter of 2008-2009, and again in 2012. Overall, more than 1,100 Palestinians and 18 Israelis were killed. Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, says it may seem repetitive, but Israel is doing the only thing it can do.

“If one looks for perfect solutions, especially here in the Middle East, you probably won’t find them,” Regev says. “But previous rounds of fighting of this sort did bring extended periods of peace and quiet.”

And this time, Regev says, Israel can score a bigger blow. The new leadership in Egypt has demolished the tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border that Hamas had used to smuggle in rockets.

“Unlike in the past, when this crisis is over, because of the new geopolitical situation in the region, it would be more difficult for Hamas to replenish its arsenal of deadly rockets,” Regev says.

But Mukhemar Abu Sada, a political analyst in Gaza, says Hamas actually manufactures many of its rockets, and that it can rebuild its arsenal. He says there are other factors, like the fact that the group is low on cash and facing international isolation, which may be motivating militants to fight.

“[Hamas] was being pushed into a corner, to the point that they calculated that they have nothing to lose,” says Abu Sada, “and any war with Israel, any escalation with Israel, will probably result in an end to the impasse, an end to their difficult, complicated circumstances.”

Israeli Middle East expert Avraham Sela, of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, says this cycle can’t end without a long-term peace deal. He says that despite the rocket salvos, elements in Hamas are becoming more pragmatic, and Israel needs to talk to them.

“Israel will have to look at this equation at one point or another: ‘How can I contribute to those in Hamas who want to turn from terrorism to a more political approach?’ ” Sela says. “Yes, we can cause them a lot of damage. But this will resolve nothing.”

It was just a few months ago that Israel and the Palestinians were talking peace. Regev, the Israeli government spokesman, acknowledges that peace can only come through negotiation, but he says Hamas can’t be a part of that.

Now those peace talks feel like they happened years ago now.

Article continues:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2014/07/11/330752487/israel-and-gaza-struck-by-rockets-bombs-and-a-sense-of-deja-vu