During 2014, the Gaza Strip again made headlines, but for all the worst reasons. The media covered Operation Protective Edge, the immense human suffering it brought, the widespread destruction it left, and the wall-to-wall declarations after about the need to invest in rebuilding Gaza.
The debate over the Gaza Strip is important and it impacts the lives of many people, both Palestinians and Israelis, also during times when there aren’t active hostilities. Throughout 2014, we tried to contribute to the conversation on Gaza through reliable and up-to-date information, providing context about the situation in the broadest and most accurate way possible. The analytics reveal that many appreciated learning the facts and getting information and analysis that may not have been readily available elsewhere. Here are Gisha’s five most popular blog posts from the past year.
Two-and-a-half months after the end of Operation Protective Edge, more than 30,000 people whose homes were destroyed were still living in UNRWA schools. They were waiting for Gaza’s promised reconstruction while living in classrooms that were modified into small one-room apartments. Many of them are still waiting there today, with no solution on the horizon.
Fourth Place: What the MFA got wrong on Gaza
In August, as the fighting was at its height in Gaza, the Israeli foreign ministry released a video entitled “The Myth of an Israeli Siege on Gaza”. We provided clarification for some of the main points that appeared.
Third Place: The closure didn’t stop the Gaza tunnels
For years, Israel’s method of countering the construction of bunkers and tunnels in Gaza was to restrict the entry of construction materials. During Operation Protective Edge, it became apparent that this policy simply did not work. We tried to explain how this happened. In short: It wasn’t Hamas who suffered from the shortage of construction materials entering Gaza.
Second Place: Gaza’s future: 15 facts that can’t be ignored
After IsraeIi Minister of Transportation Israel Katz fantasized about completely separating Israel and the West Bank from Gaza, we tried to explain why this idea, which often comes up for discussion among Israeli policy-makers, is such a lousy one. Sometimes reality demands honesty, we wrote then, and those who care to look understand that the connection between Gaza and the West Bank and the relationship between Israel and Gaza can’t simply be wished away.
First Place: What you need to know about Gaza
Two days after the start of Operation Protective Edge, we published a short post that was made up completely of facts: did Israel really disengage from Gaza? What goods enter Gaza? Who provides electricity to Gaza and how much electricity do Gaza residents need? This post made it to first place, far surpassing the others and in fact, taking its place as Gisha’s most widely read and shared blog post ever. Looking back, it’s not hard to see why. When the debate on the Strip is so polarized and biased, facts become a cherished commodity.