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It is an open air-prison in physical and psychological levels

vendredi 1er mars 2013 - 08h:03

Ayman Qwaider

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Walking alone the tiny roads of the Palestinian refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, you hear people continually discuss politics ; of course, they always connect politics to their daily life. The daily reality in Gaza witnesses a day-to-day dramatic change, in another words ; it is an environment where security tends to not exist.

In Gaza, insecurity has become integral aspect of people daily life. People often talk about the inescapability of violence and wars and the symptoms of their sufferings. Gaza is an open-air prison with physical and psychological negative impacts on the entire young nation of 1.7 million people mostly women and children.

Over the past 8 years in Gaza, the society ruthlessly experienced two aggressive wars that left Gaza as a region containing a population so traumatized and very young generation exposed to conflict. In Gaza, Israeli bombardment comes every so often and there is absolutely little to do but just to bear it. In a visit to Bait Hanoun city, north of Gaza Strip, I had the chance to set and talk with a group of young children where playing football in an unclean public square. Profiting from every single minute in life is their principle goal in such cruelly unstable environment. Death has turned to be normal phenomena to be discussed in life in Gaza. One can easily reach a conclusion that children are certain that something bad will happen, but no clue where and when might this happen. In Gaza, there is absolutely a dramatized generation with so little hope resulting directly harsh life surrounded by human-made walls.

A systematic policy of isolation

A devastating isolation policy imposed on the 1.7 million civilians caused absence of interaction between Gazans and the rest of the human community in recent years. With growing distance and constant aggressions waged by Israel, through unmanned drones and warplanes, have forced Gaza young generation to consider thinking in different perspectives. When people engage and learn about each other experience, this provides a window of openness and hope. What one can expect from isolated generation being left up alone to cope with aggressive realities like in Gaza. Logical heartbreaking conclusion might be deduced that violence is an expected outcome from closed off community.

Traumatized Generation

I visited Canaan Institute in Gaza city, a pioneer institute in working with children through innovative education activities and new pedagogy. “The current situation in Gaza has left Gaza young generation on edge. Excessive worrying, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety are rampant among young people in Gaza” Issa Sabah, the director of the institute to info-palestine.

Nights are sleepless in Gaza with over 8 hours of electricity cut off. This winter season has been harsh and winter nights are harsher due to power supply. The power shortage in Gaza has had destructive impacts on Palestinian daily life and in various levels. Education is not solely the victim of electricity cut but definitely the most targeted by this human-made crisis. Schools in Gaza operate in two shifts, morning and afternoon shifts due to large number students and modest construction material allowed entry to Gaza. When the school day is over, students spend great part of their day at homes. Doing school homework and revising lessons are not an easy task in Gaza. Anas Qwaider, a 12-year-old student told info-Palestine “night is the only time when I can revise my school lessons and do my homework. Gaza winter nights are really cold with approximately 8 hours electricity off. When power supply is off, I depend on the candlelight to do my homework and revise lessons. How could one receive quality education in such harsh and deprived circumstances” ?

Political solution

In 1948, Israel was keen to drive out Palestinians from their homes and to build up a state for Jews. The Palestinian cause has been depicted as a humanitarian, rather than a political issue. The current humanitarian situation in The Gaza strip is worsening due to massive destruction of livelihood and significant deterioration of infrastructure. Needless to say that Palestinians are a people without rights and in desperately need of Political solution to put en end to long-years of a state terrorism what was established by a political decision in 1948. The international community is demanded to emphasize freedom and human rights rather than managing the suffering of Palestinian people in Gaza.

French version

February, 2013 - Transmitted by the author

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