They are the Hamas generation, raised under the firm hand of an Islamist militant movement. They are the survivors of three wars with Israel and a siege who find themselves as young adults going absolutely nowhere.
In many circles in Gaza, it is hard to find anyone in their 20s with real employment, with a monthly salary.
They call themselves a wasted generation.
Ten years after Hamas seized control of Gaza, the economy in the seaside strip of 2 million has been strangled by incompetence, war and blockade.
Gaza today lives off its wits and the recycled scraps donated by foreign governments. Seven in 10 people rely on humanitarian aid.
Young people say they are bored out of their minds.
They worry that too many of their friends are gobbling drugs, not drugs to experience ecstasy but pills used to tranquilize animals, smuggled across Sinai. They dose on Tramadol and smoke hashish. They numb.
Hamas has recently stepped up executions of drug traffickers.
Freedoms to express oneself are circumscribed. But the young people speak, a little bit. They say their leaders have failed them — and that the Israelis and Egyptians are crushing them.
Why not revolt? They laugh. It is very hard to vote the current government out — there are no elections.
“To be honest with you, we do nothing,” said Bilal Abusalah, 24, who trained to be a nurse but sometimes sells women’s clothing.
He has cool jeans, a Facebook page, a mobile phone and no money.
He and his friends get by with odd jobs, a few hours here and there. They worked at cafes during the busy evenings of Ramadan in June. They will help an uncle in his shoe shop as the school year approaches in August. They make $10 a day at these kinds of jobs, a few coins for coffee and cigarettes.
“We are the generation that waits,” Abusalah said.
Reporters asked a 25-year-old college graduate, who got his degree in public relations, what he did for a living.
He answered, “I stare into space.”
Raw sewage washes onto the beaches. The water looks blue at the horizon, where Israeli gunboats lurk, enforcing a six-mile blockade. But the surf line is a foamy brown.
The rappers of Gaza see this as a metaphor. They are literally trapped in their own excrement.
Most young people in Gaza have not been out, either through Israel, which is almost impossible, or through the Rafah crossing into Egypt, which has been mostly closed for the past four years. (Continued)
Under the blazing summer sun: Israel confiscated water tank that was a main water source of Palestinian communities that Israel refuses to hook up to water grid.
This afternoon Israel’s Civil Administrating confiscated a tanker which supplies water to the communities of Msafar Yatta (Greater Yatta; Firing Zone 918) in the southern Hebron Hills, citing “entering a firing zone”. The truck, owned by a resident of Yatta, was carrying 20,000 liters of water and is the only one of its size serving the communities in the area. The truck managed to supply water only to the community of Khirbet al-Fakhit, one of twelve communities in the area which Israel has been endeavoring to displace and also refuses to hook up to the water grid. Soldiers then confiscated the truck. Israeli security forces kept the B’Tselem field researcher who was on site from filming the confiscation.
Solidarity with David Sheen
We are journalists who wish to express our concern at the defamation suit against our colleague David Sheen. He is being sued by a leading Israeli general, Israel Ziv.
Sheen is a respected reporter and analyst, one with a deep knowledge of Israeli society, who regularly investigates issues related to racism and human rights abuses.
Over the years, a number of investigations by the Israeli media have tied Ziv to some of the world’s ugliest regimes.
Sheen’s comments about Ziv were provoked by the latest such investigation, carried out late last year by Israel’s Channel 2 TV. It published transcripts of conversations between Ziv and his business associates in which they discussed rehabilitating the reputation of Salva Kiir Mayardit, the president of South Sudan.
This was after the United Nations revealed that Salva Kiir had permitted soldiers under his command to rape women and children on a mass scale. Ziv and his team proposed exploiting a rape victim by bringing her to the UN General Assembly so that Salva Kiir could blame such war crimes on indigenous African tribal culture.
Despite being offered the chance on both Ch2 and Army Radio to deny the accuracy of the transcripts, Ziv declined to do so.
In a subsequent article Sheen wrote about the treatment of Africans by Israelis, he commented critically on Ziv’s behaviour. This is what he is being sued for, despite such criticism clearly being protected under the important right of journalists to comment fairly on matters of public interest.
And in an extremely rare move, the Haaretz newspaper has removed from its website five investigative articles it published between 2009 and 2011 on Ziv’s business activities in Guinea and Abkhazia. Haaretz also parted ways with the reporter who wrote the articles after complaints from Ziv, and in circumstances none of those involved are prepared to talk about.
It is noteworthy that Ch2’s investigation revealed discussions between Ziv and his associates on ways that his company, Global CST, could manipulate and deceive the media about Salva Kiir’s brutal policies in South Sudan. Ziv appears to believe that journalists are there to serve his interests and not to act as independent watchdogs on power and its misuse.
Also noticeable is that Ziv is not suing a large organisation like Ch2 that published the original allegations and is equipped to defend itself in court. He is targeting an independent journalist as a way to intimidate other reporters. This is the very definition of a SLAPP suit, which is “intended to censor, intimidate, and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defense until they abandon their criticism or opposition”.
It is important that the principle of journalistic freedom is upheld and that Ziv is not able to use the courts as way to exempt himself and his business activities from scrutiny, or from criticism. For that reason, we stand in solidarity with David Sheen and call on the court to dismiss the suit against him.
The Israeli army confiscated 70 dunams (17.3 acres) of Palestinian lands in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Tuesday, allegedly to build a military training site.
The move reportedly affected the villages of al-Jabaa and Surif. Al-Jabaa village council head Thiyab Meshaala told Ma’an that the Israeli army escorted bulldozers to al-Khur, an area in western al-Jabaa, and razed some 10 dunams of lands belonging to the Abu Latifa, Hamdan, Abu Luha, and al-Tus families.
When residents of al-Jabaa went to the site in protest, Meshaala said, Israeli soldiers told them that “the army declared this area a closed military zone to be used for military trainings,” adding that Palestinians were forbidden from entering or approaching the area.
Meshaala said that Israeli forces had also razed lands in western al-Jabaa near an existing Israeli military checkpoint a week earlier.