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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A journalist's impression of Gaza

I thought this blog post by Paula Slier, a South African journalist for Russia Today television (an English language Russian station) gives a pretty accurate picture of Gaza and the people how live there.
I was surprised to find out but most Gazans do not support Hamas. I interviewed many locals who said they'd been intimidated into letting Hamas fighters into their residential buildings. Colleagues in our sister organisation, Russia Al Yaum, said Hamas fighters had been hiding in the basement of the media building and they couldn't go on air and admit it as otherwise they would have become targets. So, in this respect at least, when the Israeli army justified its attacks on media houses, they were telling the truth when they said fire was coming from them!

I interviewed a Fatah man who'd lost his job the day we met him because he was not Hamas. His wife was panicking, stomping up and down behind him throughout the interview, and literally screaming all the time, "We have no money, no income, no food to feed the family, nothing!" There were many people sleeping outside on the streets - their houses had been completely destroyed - and like many Gazan businesses - they were not insured. How then to start life anew is mind-boggling.

There was one street in a residential area where the houses had been completely destroyed. We interviewed a father-of-four, Majdi, who seemed traumatised by his ordeal. He'd been used by the Israeli army as a go-between - next door to his home three Hamas militants had been hiding out. He recounted how the soldiers would give him a message to deliver to them, he'd then run up the stairs onto the roof and relay that message down through another stairway. In the end the three fighters were killed, the soldiers left, and Majdi's house was destroyed.

Having said all of this, I did however expect there to be more damage. The pictures coming out of Gaza at the time showed constant bombing and explosions. The Israelis kept saying their operation had specific targets at which they were aiming and to be honest - I did see evidence of this. For example, there is a beach street with four hotels. Three had remained standing - but the fourth which was renowned to be a 'Hamas hotel' with Hamas sympathisers hanging out inside, had been bombed to the ground.
Read the whole thing.


I remembered after seeing the comments that I wrote a couple of posts about Paula Slier in 2006 as well (she was banned by South African television for being Jewish) here and here.


At 6:30 PM, Blogger nomatter said...

"I was surprised to find out but most Gazans do not support Hamas."

They don't support Hamas...but they won't rise up against them.

Don't you think there lies the rub in all of this??

Most sadly we have been suckered into the false belief these poor people have no options for they are intimidated and fearful of those who are repressing them.

When we become suckered we forget history. History has shown the only road to freedom (if that is what they actually want) is to revolt! Making sacrifices onto oneself even at the cost of giving ones life to achieve such freedoms is an undeniable fact of history.

Then there is the brainwashing theory. "The poor people are so brainwashed they can't revolt." I say BS to assigning rationalization that fear, intimidation, brainwashing keep people from revolt.

Thus far I see no revolt in Gaza or the West Bank. Until we see even the smallest amount of revolt where the people take matters into their own hands nothing will change. (Except faraway governments thinking billions of dollars will cosmetically cleanse the evil therefore the people need do nothing on their own to exact change.)

In reality no terrorist group is more powerful then the people unless of course the people allow it.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Thermblog said...

More on Paula here:



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