Displaying items by tag: Gaza
Manufacturing clothes was once a pillar of Gaza’s economy, with 900 factories employing 36,000 Palestinians. But the industry collapsed in 2007 when Hamas seized control of Gaza and Israel banned the export of clothing from Gaza to Israel or the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Ziad Qassem’s 25 years as a tailor seemed worthless in the cruel blockade: unemployed, debt piling up, worried how he would provide for his wife and five children. Coronavirus came to the rescue. Demand for masks and protective gear soared worldwide. Gaza garment factories are flooded with new orders from Israel, ordinarily seen by much of Gaza’s Palestinian population as the enemy. Israeli rights groups have called for the permanent easing of restrictions that govern entry in and out of the Gaza enclave, home to some two million people, so that the economy can function more normally even after the pandemic. See
Ministers pledged urgent action after it emerged that tens of millions of British foreign aid cash is funding schools in Gaza and the West Bank where textbooks on martyrdom and radical Islamism are used in school lessons. The money goes via a UN agency that some other nations have stopped financing because of concerns. The textbooks include a reading exercise for six-year-olds with the words 'martyr' and 'attack', poems for eight-year-olds include phrases such as 'sacrifice my blood' to 'eliminate the usurper from my country' and 'annihilate the remnants of the foreigners'. Teaching on Newton’s Second law for eleven-year-olds uses pictures of a boy with a slingshot targeting Israeli soldiers during the Palestinian uprising and nine-year-olds learn maths by adding the number of martyrs in Palestinian uprisings in textbooks illustrated with pictures of their funerals. Ten-year-olds learn that the most important thing is giving their life for 'sacrifice, fight, jihad, and struggle'.
‘I only spent one week in Mosul, but I’ll never forget what I saw. The scars of war there are not just destroyed buildings, closed hospitals, and empty streets; they are also adults and children in severe pain, injured first by war and then infected by bacteria that defy treatment by most available antibiotics. People wonder if they will ever walk, play football with their friends, or even lift a cup of tea again. I’ve been working as an epidemiologist with Médecins Sans Frontières for eight years, focussing on measles, malaria, cholera, malnutrition, and other major health crises. I witnessed children, severely underweight, needing immediate treatment to survive. We understand how to treat life-threatening situations, but now antibiotic-resistant infections are in Gaza, Aden, and Mosul. They are incredibly complex to manage and difficult to explain, and can take a huge psychological toll on patients. This is World Antibiotic Awareness Week, but one week is not enough.’
On 26 December the Knesset disbanded and called elections for 9 April. The same day, Mahmoud Abbas disbanded the Palestinian legislature, with a view to 2019 elections. Many say it is hard to see how new parliamentary elections can take place in the West Bank and Gaza at the same time. ‘When Abbas dissolves the Palestinian parliament and the Knesset dissolves itself in the same week, Hamas smells trouble’. There is concern that Israel will block Qatari financial aid and seek an excuse to suspend the cease-fire deal. The Zionist Union, a joint list of the Israeli Labour party and the Hatnuah party, has broken up ahead of the Knesset elections. At the same time the Labour party, which has dominated Israeli politics for the past thirty years, is declining in popularity: see https://worldisraelnews.com/zionist-union-party-dissolves-ahead-of-elections/ An Israeli defence source told Al-Monitor that Israel assumes Hamas is gearing up for another round of widespread violence. The relative calm could end at any moment.
On 14 October Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’s advisor on religious and Islamic affairs, Mahmoud Al-Habash, declared on TV that ‘Islam’s religious war to destroy Israel’s “culture of Satan” has begun’; and ‘Jerusalem is the arena of conflict between us and the colonialist project (Israel)’. He described the fight as ‘a war between Islamic culture in all its splendour and the culture of Satan, oppression and aggression’. See On 17 October a predawn rocket attack from Gaza struck an Israeli home, and another rocket landed off the coast near Tel Aviv. ‘There are only two organisations in Gaza with this calibre of rocket - Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’, said the IDF. Later the Israeli military bombed twenty Gaza Strip areas including weapons factories, military bases and Hamas’s tunnel-building efforts.
Virtually all media outlets are unaware of the protests in Gaza by opponents of Hamas. Palestinian media in the Strip do not dare to publicise the underground protests against the terrible injustice imposed on Palestinians by Hamas since it took control of Gaza by force in 2007. Al-Monitor has learned that recently dozens of Palestinians have demonstrated in different refugee camps, claiming Hamas had taken the Strip back to the Middle Ages and accusing leading Hamas officials and activists of corruption and of favouring their supporters over the general population. They called on Hamas to take care of its people or ‘disappear’. A few waved signs against what they termed Gaza’s ‘dictatorial regime’. Similar protests took place in 2017; they were violently suppressed by Hamas security forces.
On 17 August, Friday prayers from Intercessors for Israel stated: ‘There has been much spoken and written about the possibility of a ceasefire agreement being made between Hamas and Israel. Only the Lord knows for sure whether it is the right time for such a deal. Lord, we want Your plans to be put in place rather than any plans of men. Isaiah 55:8 says, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord”.’ Their prayers asked God to ‘invade’ the meetings of Israel’s leaders - Netanyahu, Liberman and Eizenkott - so that they might know God’s wisdom. They also asked God to reveal any deception in these negotiations according to Proverbs 26:26: ‘The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.’
In order to thwart attempts by terrorists to tunnel from Gaza into Israel, the Israeli government has an underground wall along the border. On 18 June, Gaza terrorists blew themselves up trying to destroy the underground barrier. The incident occurred after an escalation of rocket fire and firebomb-laden kites and balloons sent from Gaza into southern Israel. Defence minister Avigdor Lieberman warned that Israel would not allow Gazans to continue launching incendiary devices into Israeli territory, which have caused hundreds of brush fires and burned thousands of acres of land. ‘If anyone thinks it will be possible to continue with the daily kites and fires, they are wrong,’ Lieberman said. Meanwhile housing minister Yoav Galant said, ‘When an eight-year-old boy flies a kite strapped with a firebomb because someone told him to, it is problematic to send a drone to shoot him dead.’
Please continue to pray over the Gaza border. In the third Friday of protests, 10,000-15,000 Palestinians took part in violent riots in different locations along the border, and again tried to cross the barrier; they intend to continue every Friday until 14 May. They threw Molotov cocktails and explosives at Israeli soldiers. Over 100 Palestinians were hurt and one man killed. They tried to use kites to fly Molotov cocktails toward Israel Defence Forces (IDF) troops, and were photographed placing an explosive device on the fence. On one side of the border there are watchtowers and anti-terror barriers: on the other, a tent city of Palestinian protesters. Meanwhile the IDF exposed and neutralised a fifth underground Hamas tunnel running from northern Gaza into southern Israel. It was connected to an intricate network of tunnels running through Gaza. See
Thousands of Palestinians have gathered along Israel's border for a six-week protest. The situation has escalated, and Israel has doubled its troops. Multiple deaths and hundreds wounded make this the deadliest conflict since 2014. Palestinians have long demanded their right to return to the land they claim. Gaza Strip and West Bank are some of the world's most contested lands. But take a minute to look beyond politics, land, and religion. Stop to see the millions who call this land home - people Jesus loves and died to save. Life in Gaza is dominated by conflict, war and extremist violence. In addition to viewing Israel as their oppressor, their own leadership oppresses them, but, above all, they suffer immense spiritual oppression. Yet Hope was born in the West Bank a little over 2,000 years ago. His name is Jesus. Peace is only possible through Him in some of the most contested and contentious lands on earth.