Gaza's Social Network

“People outside expect us all to be wrapped in keffiyehs … and to be stalwarts of the Palestinian cause every second of every day, and we feel we don’t want to disappoint them but we are human beings and sometimes we just want to blog about what’s on our mind… Continue reading

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Strawberry Fields Forever

This week the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced the “beginning of the export season” in the Gaza Strip. “The export season” entails the continuation of a short-term program, sponsored – from planting through to distribution – by the Dutch government. The program allows a few farmers in Gaza to sell strawberries and flowers in European markets. So far this week, 7 trucks have left the Strip. As has been the case in every year since June 2007… Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods out of Gaza | 7 Comments

If they haven’t bread, let them eat gravel

The eve of Eid al-Adha celebrated this week brought news of a shortage of flour in the Gaza Strip. For the past two weeks, traders and flour mill owners have warned of shortages of wheat in the Strip, claiming that the mills have been providing about half of their production capacity… Continue reading

Posted in Infrastructure, Movement of goods into Gaza | 3 Comments

Who Controls the Palestinian Population Registry?

When the Palestinian Supreme Court in Ramallah issued a new ruling on 22.10.2010, commentators were quick to declare a breakthrough for the 35,000 Palestinian residents who live in the West Bank but whose registered addresses are in Gaza and who therefore live under the threat of deportation. The ruling ordered the Palestinian Interior Ministry to carry out all the necessary procedures to change these residents’ addresses from the Gaza Strip to the… Continue reading

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The race for freedom of movement

Tomorrow, I will run a 160 km (100 mile) “ultra-marathon”, the first 100 mile race to be held in Israel. For the people I meet through my work at Gisha, fulfilling the desire for freedom is also not an easy task. For them, the obstacles are not the limits of oxygen delivery or lactic acid threshold, but rather the obstacles stemming from our reality in this region of the world – a reality of restrictions on the ability to travel, with passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank almost completely blocked. Continue reading

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The ban on student travel between Gaza and the West Bank: Fatma Sharif's story

As the new academic year begins, meet Ms. Sharif, a lawyer from the Gaza Strip who wanted to reach her studies in democracy and human rights in the West Bank but was unable to do so. Continue reading

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Facts Behind MFA Report on "Easing" of Gaza Closure

In advance of today’s meeting of the Ad-hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) for assistance to the Palestinians, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) released a report detailing steps taken to improve Gaza’s economy pursuant to a June 20, 2010 Israeli Cabinet decision to “ease” the closure. The following is a summary of the main points of the MFA report and data which places the information in context. Continue reading

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Children of the gravel

On Saturday, May 22, 2010, Hasan, 17, was shot in the leg in the now-defunct Erez industrial area in the northern Gaza Strip: “I was collecting gravel with the other workers, when one of the Israeli soldiers in the watchtower fired a shot which hit me in the right leg. I immediately fell to the ground in great pain. Everyone started running away, except for one youngster who I didn’t know, who came and tried to help me, but he couldn’t lift me”. In the meantime, the soldiers kept firing… Continue reading

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How the Gaza export ban impacts the furniture company of Tahseen Al-Isi

This week we will try again to understand what the possibilities are for industry in Gaza when the import of consumer goods, such as furniture, is permitted, when raw materials for industry have been cleared for entrance after many months, and while the ban on export remains firmly in place. This time we spoke with Tahseen al-Isi, director of the… Continue reading

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For Gaza Tailors, Market is Flooded, External Markets Are Banned

“Not only did the ‘easements’ Israel declared not help us, they have even harmed us. Exports are still banned, and that is a problem because the Gaza market is very small, and a large amount of ready made clothes have been brought in from Israel and China. The Gaza market was flooded with products, there is a lot of supply and less demand, and because of the stiff competition, we are forced to lower prices. As long as there is no export, it is hard for workers in the clothing and textile sector to profit and produce. After three years of closure, we lost the contacts we had developed with clients from Israel, and they went elsewhere… Continue reading

Posted in Movement of goods out of Gaza | 2 Comments