Haaretz, Jan. 7, 2017


“Gaza is cloaked in desperation. You feel it the minute you cross the border. It’s like traveling to another world. Already at the crossing you see seriously ill people, mainly cancer patients, waiting in line in a hall. They are hoping for some compassion and permission to cross the border and receive some treatment. You go by car and see ruins, thousands of destroyed houses, factories in ruin, sewage flowing through the streets.”

[...] “Look, we walk through the streets, we don’t just go to hospitals. We see what’s going on. More than 60 percent of the inhabitants are unemployed. There’s terrible poverty. There is simply no money. Not for food or for medications, not for warm clothes for children. People light fires in order to stay warm. It’s quite common in Gaza to see a fire outside a tent standing next to a ruined house. People are afraid to move far from ruined houses even though there’s no chance they’ll get any compensation. They know that if they move away someone will take over the land and they’ll lose that as well.

“[...] The feeling among ordinary Gazans is that Abu Mazen [PA President Mahmoud Abbas] and his people have stopped caring about Gaza. They feel ostracized, as if they don’t belong to the Palestinian nation. In Ramallah they don’t allow them to visit. Even ministers from Gaza can’t usually leave and participate in cabinet meetings in Ramallah. There are two million people there. They aren’t all Hamas. There are many factions and in any case the population is paying a steep price. It isn’t taken into consideration by Israel, Egypt or the authorities in Ramallah.””