“They beat me, cursed me, and threatened to lock me up if I didn’t confess that I threw Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers,” Oday, a 15-year-old boy, said after he was detained for one month in Megiddo prison and six months at home. Oday is not the first teenager subjected to beatings and insults in Israeli prisons.
When Linda Bevis started her second career in teaching nineteen years ago, she noticed that the textbooks for high school world history dedicated about five paragraphs to Palestine and Israel. The Seattle resident, educator, and longtime activist knew how difficult it would be for any teacher to use that material productively. “While I actually don’t think the conflict is a complicated one, it cannot be explained in five paragraphs."
Khan Younis was one of the areas most affected by the Israeli military offensive that claimed the lives of over 2,100 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip last summer. Ismael Ahmed Wafi, a truck driver and father from Khan Younis, worked to help rescue victims from under the rubble during the attacks and is currently assisting with cleanup efforts.
The damage Israel inflicted on Gaza during its 50-day attack last summer left thousands of Palestinians in desperate need of aid and home reconstruction. The process of rebuilding has been heavily impeded by the blockade, which prevents most types of building materials such as cement and steel from entering the strip. This shortage has caused many to resort to making repairs and building new homes with the limited supplies that are available.
Shojae'a, which is one of the largest neighborhoods in Gaza, was also one of the most intensely bombed during Israel’s summer offensive. Before the attacks, more than 250,000 Palestinians lived there. Now, months later, few voices can be heard in the streets. Some of those whose properties were partly destroyed in Israel's bombings returned to live in what remained of their homes.
Khuza’a, a village in Khan Younis, was one of the many villages attacked during Israel’s ground invasion and aerial bombardment of Gaza in July and bore witness to horrific incidents of brutality. Two paramedics with the Palestine Red Crescent Society branch in Khan Younis share what they experienced during the few hours they were allowed to work in the village.
Forty-four-year-old Gaza farmer Shehda Al-Najjar tells the story of how he was shot and left bleeding for hours by Israeli forces in July.
Many of the Israeli attacks launched on Gaza this summer targeted innocent civilians inhabitants who lost their basic rights, homes, and in thousands of cases, their lives or the lives of their family members. Gaza is now in ruins once again, its people still suffering heavily even though the bombs have stopped.
Omar Mohammed Shaheen, a father of four, describes what it was like returning to his neighborhood in Beit Lahiya, Gaza after taking shelter in an UNRWA school during Israel’s latest assault.