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Postcards from Hell – The Face of Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis


An aerial view of Gaza City.

An aerial view of Gaza City.
Photo Credit: Sun Radio

“Gaza is the largest Palestinian city, roughly 500,000 in the metro area, out of 850.000 altogether in the province of Gaza. In 2009 the total population of the Gaza Strip was estimated in 2009 at 1,600,000.”

We Google-translated the above from رحلة سياحية لغزة (Tourist Trip to Gaza), which is part of the Tourism section of a website belonging to a radio station named “Sun.” The section on Gaza encourages tourism to the city which has been associated in popular public opinion with images of starving refugees huddled in shacks under daily Zionist air raids.

Sun is a regular radio broadcast of the Arab minority in Israel since 2003. Its slogan is: “Free Radio, modern Radio.” It says it represents the generation that no longer accepts being second class citizens in Israel. It is open to liberals who dare to break all political or social taboos. It also works to challenge the institution of the state and at the same time to build bridges of understanding and co-existence between Jews and Arabs.

The “Visit Gaza” section is current, and offers stunning images of Gaza City, a beautiful and vivacious place that could easily compete with many Israeli beach towns, including my own gorgeous city of Netanya.

So, all we have left to do is to take you on a tour of Gaza, and for the fun of it, we’ll add to these fabulous images quotes from two sources about conditions in this lovely city by the sea, UNRWA and the PA. In the end there’s a video you don’t want to miss. Enjoy!


As the Gaza blockade moves into its fifth year, a new report by the UN’s agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, says broad unemployment in the second half of 2010 reached 45.2 per cent, one of the highest in the world. The report released today, finds that real wages continued to decline under the weight of persistently high unemployment, falling 34.5 per cent since the first half of 2006. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


The report concludes that 90% of Gaza water is unfit to drink. The reasons behind this deteriorating situation, the writer of the report believes, are the racist policies of occupation, the latest war on Gaza , the siege, and the division and its impact on society and education, which resulted in 45% of unemployed graduates. (Gaza Under Attack, Refugees Deteriorating Conditions)


The Refugees’ Affairs Department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) published a report detailing the conditions of Palestinian refugees, living in the Gaza Strip. The report compares the conditions of refugees in 2012 and 2006. The report writer, Ala’a Abu-Diaa, states that refugees’ conditions are deteriorating, in relation to housing and lands’ price, which doubled in the last five years. The rate of exports decreased 80% compared to the pre-siege period. Gazans found refuge, the report continues, in tunnels linking Gaza with Egypt. (Gaza Under Attack, Refugees Deteriorating Conditions)


The UNRWA report finds that the private sector was particularly badly hit compared to the government sector.
In the second half of 2010 businesses shed over 8,000 jobs, a decline in employment of nearly 8 per cent relative to the first half of the year. By contrast, the Hamas-dominated public sector grew by nearly 3 per cent during the same period. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


Human rights activists have criticized the international community for its silence on the flagging Gaza economy that has been shattered by the siege and the 22-day Israeli assault on the Gazans at the turn of 2009. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


“These are disturbing trends,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, “and the refugees, which make up two-thirds of Gaza’s 1.5 million population were the worst hit in the period covered in this report. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


“Over a million refugees in Gaza live in hard conditions in several camps across the strip and are dependent on assistance provided by the UNRWA,” the report said. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


The UN agency needs to build 100 schools and 10,000 housing units in addition to a number of health centers but these have been severely hampered by Israeli siege of the strip. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


Successive UN human rights chiefs have slammed Israel’s illegal settlement plans, its Gaza blockade and the building of an apartheid wall across Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank among other things. (UNRWA)

Refugees are still going through endless crisis, beginning with electricity and including fuel, which affect all walks of life in the besieged coastal enclave. The newly published report states that over 70% of refugees depend mainly on aid delivered by UNRWA.

And Now, for a Video We Like to Call:

Gazans who have been under Israeli blockade for several years have been largely dependent on food supplies, goods and fuel brought in via the tunnel. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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11 Responses to “Postcards from Hell – The Face of Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis”

  1. Liad Bar-el says:

    Excellent post! Let’s not forget the multimillion dollar and countless amounts of armaments, missiles, etc which are stored in those facilities which increases substantially by the day. An income salary review should be done to see how many millionaires live in Gaza. Gaza is probably the only place beside the HQ of the PLO/Fatah where one can become a millionaire overnight depending on how much the USA and EU are willing to give.

  2. Stephen Leavitt says:

    I miss Gush Katif.

    Imagine if the Jews were free to build up and develop Hebron, Gush Etzion, The Shomron….

  3. Anonymous says:

    This article reminds me of the propaganda films the Nazis made about the concentration camp at Theresiensdat showing that it was a paradise on earth. Try asking these people what they have to go through if they ever want to leave their 15 square mile paradise.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Why would they want to leave? Their own people in Jordan and Saudi do not want them.They are in their own land, won as a prize of war by Israel and graciously returned to their home rule. They show gratitude by shooting bombs across the border.

  5. pictures, you will never see in our common news…..i would ay: by purpose.

  6. Yori Yanover says:

    Your ability to completely ignore context is both appalling and astonishing. For decades Gaza and Judea and Samaria Arabs enjoyed virtually unlimited access to Israel, and the country's economy actually relied on them. With Oslo came a progressive increase in violence, to levels that were unheard of before. When the suicide bombers and regular bombers became a daily reality on Israel's streets, the access was sharply curtailed. That's when the rockets started flying.

    Your comparison is vicious and warped. The Jews of Poland did not target Polish civilians with daily bombings. Gaza was closed in because its politics is based on anti-Jewish violence, run by a government that's calling for the destruction of Israel.

    This is the most ass-hat comment I've seen in a while on these pages.

  7. Wonder how long before they totally trash their paradise…

  8. Liad Bar-el says:

    Yori's New's clip should be sent to Obama and every media outlet in America not to mention everyone in the EU. Need to keep this one on top of the web page.

  9. This is a city of over a million people, did it ever occur to you that these are pictures with hardly any people in them? Ever wonder that these pictures may not be real?

    I note a lot of comments chortlling over the wonderful life the Gazans are enjoying as the whole world conspires to present a false tale of devastation perpetrated by Israel.
    The underlying message appears to be that the "strangulation" of Gazans is not so bad after all.
    I believe Israelis are living unside a comfortable cocoon of self-delusion as to how wonderful they rae as compared to the vicious, murderous Arabs that surround them. You focus on the rockets, which don't do much damage, but you ignore the regular bombings and shootings of Palestinians committed under the guise of "defending poor little Israel". Your soldiers and security people regularly brutalize Palestinians and you treat your own Arab citizens like dirt, all the while touting the fabulous "democracy" of Israel.
    Maybe you Israelis need such a mythology to help you continue to enjoy your lives, but at some time in history, you will have to face the truth about yourselves and about the Arabs who live inside and around, Israel.

    Israelis can live as equals with Arabs and Palestinians or, they can continue to live as occupiers of the territories ad of their own, Arab citizens. The former can help Israeli Jews finally live as normal people, while the latter is ultimately doomed, it is only a matter of years, one, ten or, a hundred, who knows? but it is inevitable; occupation and oppression never endure.

  10. The pictures are the pictures and they speak for themselves. There are parts of Gaza where life is not as rosy – just as there are inequalities anywhere in the world. The point of showing these pictures is to show that large swathes of Gaza are hardly the 'open air prison' that many claim Gaza to be – To the degree that there is inequality in various parts of Gaza, Hamas (the Gazan Arabs' 'freely elected leadership') -not Israel – should be held accountable. If the Arabs chose to live in peace, instead of turning Gush Katif -and every other place Israel pulls back from- into a launching pad, the whole atmosphere could change. Read the incitement to murder Jews in the Hamas charter, recall how Hamas threw PA oppnonets from the rooftops whenHamas assumed power in Gaza, for that matter, listen to the unmitigated praise of suicide bombers on PA radio , pay attention to the unchecked barbarity in Syria and the rise of the Islamists in Egypt and then you will understand why some Israeli's think they have a moral leg up Arab leaders like these who surround Israel. Alll reasonabke people yearn for peace. A prequisite to peace is telling the truth. Large parts of Gaza is doing just fine. Hold Hamas accountable ans stop defending rockets aimed at exclusively at civilians that "don't do much damage". Come live in Sderot and you might reconsider.

  11. The pictures are the pictures and they speak for themselves. There are parts of Gaza where life is not as rosy – just as there are inequalities anywhere in the world. The point of showing these pictures is to show that large swathes of Gaza are hardly the 'open air prison' that many claim Gaza to be – To the degree that there is inequality in various parts of Gaza, Hamas (the Gazan Arabs' 'freely elected leadership') -not Israel – should be held accountable.

    If the Arabs chose to put their energy into state building, instead of turning Gush Katif -and every other place Israel pulls back from- into a launching pad, the whole atmosphere could change. Read the incitement to murder Jews in the Hamas charter, recall how Hamas threw PA oppnonets from the rooftops whenHamas assumed power in Gaza, for that matter, listen to the unmitigated praise of suicide bombers on PA radio , pay attention to the unchecked barbarity in Syria and the rise of the Islamists in Egypt and then you will understand why some Israeli's think they have a moral 'leg up' on Arab leaders like these who surround Israel.

    Alll reasonable people yearn for peace. A prequisite to peace is telling the truth. Large parts of Gaza are doing just fine. Hold Hamas accountable and stop defending rockets aimed at exclusively at civilians that "don't do much damage". (Come live in Sderot and you might reconsider that phrase.)

    As for ensuring equality, the Israeli's have a much, much better record than the Arabs. Arabs serve as members of Israel's parliment and on the supreme court. A visit to Israel's hospitals, etc. will show Arabs working and being served equally with Jews and othr Israelis. When Jordan occupied Yehuda and Shomron -and East Jerusalem, all Jews were effectively barred visiting their holiest sites. Jews still are forbidden from even praying as individuals on the Temple Mount (even though it's under Israeli sovereignty) because the Arabs consider that a "provocation"! Under PA control, Joseph's tomb has been torched many times and Jews can only enter under armed protection. Normalcy is a two-way street. Why is it a prerequisite for "peace" that Jews can not live in certain places. Only Jews have been transferred from their homes in the name of "peace" – and the Arabs expect that only Jews must be transferred from their homes – and be denied their national right of self-determination. The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem – well before Israel was a state- worked hand in hand with Hitler to murder Jews ..Only those who ignore the history of this place fail to understand why Jews feel the way they do. Peace is possible – but not while Arabs deny Jews the right to equality and blame Israel for everything wrong with their leadership.

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