The Islamist party Hamas had been losing support as a result of economic difficulties and factional fighting. Today Hamas is popular again, heralded for its retaliation in Israel’s latest military assault on the Gaza Strip.
Fouad Hijazi was watching the 7 p.m. news with his wife and eight children when a missile fired by an Israeli F-16 hit their house in Jabalyia refugee camp, Gaza’s most densely populated area.
Mai Ahmed, a 26–year-old from the West Bank fell in love over the Internet with Mohammed Warda from Nussirat refugee camp in Gaza after they ‘met’ on the Internet. The Israeli government refused permission for her to travel to Gaza. Mai travelled to Jordan, flew from there to Egypt, drove across the Sinai, and then crossed through a tunnel into Gaza, where she now lives. “It’s a story I will tell my grandchildren,” she says.
When the lights go out, Gazans look for generators to switch on. And, they find people to talk to. With so many power cuts over so long now, people are giving themselves the somewhat dubious comfort that human relations may have improved as a result of these power cuts.
Ayman Siam, 41, is not growing carnations as usual this year. It’s limonium and statice flowers instead because they are hardier. Given the risks of an Israeli blockade, it’s a political decision.
Access to education for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails is getting worse as international organisations remain unwilling or unable to intervene. Secondary- school students here completed their exams in June, and received their results by end of July. However, the 1,800 Palestinian prisoners who were supposed to complete their exams were not permitted to do so by the Israeli Prison Service.
Sitting by the hospital bed of freelance photographer Mohammed Othman, Ashraf Abu Amrah knows that nobody owns a freelance journalist from Gaza who gets injured, or dies.
Many hoping to find free movement between Egypt and Gaza have found the border gates at the Rafah crossing closed. Egyptian officials closed the gates on Saturday, according to Palestinian officials.
Abu Sumaia’a Al Suoarki is 29 years old and a Muslim, according to the personal identification card issued by the Egyptian government. These days, however, his religious belief is no longer just a detail on his ID card, but is something he openly practices every day.
Abu Mustafa Al Matriah and Abu Ahmed Abu Amrah, both Bedouins in Northern Sinai are thankful to the army that they can complete their daily deliveries without having "to pay so much baksheesh" (gratuity).
It was easy enough to rename Mubarak Children’s Hospital the Al Tahrir Hospital in Gaza. Not so easy is the task of managing patients who need to cross over to the Egyptian side for treatment, or come back in.
Mustapha Suleiman, 27, from J Block east of the Rafah crossing with Egypt, crosses through gaps in the iron fence on the border carrying bread, water, meat cans and a handful of vegetables for Egyptian soldiers stationed on the other side.
Khalid Ibrahim Al-Laisi has been a soldier in the Egyptian army for 20 years. Today, far from shooting protesters, he says the time has come "to revolt against oppression."
A Bedouin youth casually spreads out a piece of cloth before a police headquarters in Sheikh Zwayyed town in Sinai, the vast desert area to the east of Cairo across the Suez. "I will leave when Mubarak leaves," he says.
Samir Tahseen Al-Nadeem died after waiting 35 days for an exit permit for treatment for his heart condition. He was 26. The medicines he needed could not get in. But the coffins do.