Tag Archives: journalists

Fact or fiction? #GreatReturnMarch

Yaser Murtaja

Yaser Murtaja – Palestinian journalist (killed April 6, 2018)

As the #GreatReturnMarch enters into its ninth day (of an expected 6 weeks of protest at the Gaza border), the Israeli propaganda (aka hasbara) is flying fast and furiously around the globe, almost as effectively as the Israeli military’s bullets are flying from the sharpshooters laying on their bellies on an earthen berm overlooking the protesters in Gaza.

A gullible American told me today that the “so-called peaceful protests” in Gaza are actually very violent — including balloons filled with acid and kites flying with razor blades — and Israelis have every right to defend their borders. (Sadly, I kid you not.)

While the New York Times isn’t this gullible, it’s still spouting the Israeli line that Hamas is effectively controlling the protests.  The organizers and civil society in Gaza have tried to set the record straight but with limited success given the entrenchment of the Israeli narrative.

The truth — there are burning tires, but no balloons filled with acid.

The truth — there are flags and kites, but no razor blades attached.

The truth — there are boys throwing rocks, but no guns or military weapons are present on the Gaza side of the border.

The truth — there are Israeli sharpshooters targeting and killing Palestinians in the back as they run away from the border.

The truth — there are Israeli sharpshooters targeting and killing professional journalists clearly identified as media by the vests they are wearing.

The truth — there are Palestinian families (old, young, and even a wedding party) participating in the #GreatReturnMarch on the Gaza side of the border.

The truth — there are Israeli civilians picnicking on the hill overlooking Gaza, celebrating Passover (the celebration of freedom) and watching the Palestinians demonstrating for their freedom.

Remember Yaser Murtaja, the Palestinian murdered by Israeli sharpshooters on April 6, 2018. He was trying to bring us the truth. It cost him his life.




Filed under Gaza, IDF, Israel Defense Forces, Media, Peaceful, People, Uncategorized, Video

Cameraman in Gaza films the attack that killed him #OperationProtectiveEdge

Two years after Operation Protective Edge, Aljazeera World produced this video to remember the journalists and cameramen killed during Israel’s assault on Gaza.

On July 8, 2014, Israel launched Operation Protective Edge, aimed at stopping alleged rocket fire from Gaza into the occupied territories.

One of the most densely populated neighbourhoods in the Gaza Strip, Shujayea was claimed by Israel to be the site of Hamas “terror tunnels”.

The attack started late on July 19, initiating 24 hours of sustained air bombardment and artillery fire.

An American military officer talking to Al Jazeera said 11 Israeli artillery battalions fired around 7,000 shells into Shujayea over that 24-hour period, in which at least 65 Palestinians were killed and 288 wounded.

One paramedic reported more than 200 calls for help at the peak of demand, one from virtually every house on targeted streets.

The emergency services responded to every callout with scant regard for their own safety.

In this film, cameraman Khaled Hamad joins local paramedics in Shujayea as they attend to the dead and wounded at the height of the raid. Risking his life, he documents the atrocities committed against civilians in the neighbourhood during Operation Protective Edge.

A number of journalists were killed. News photographer Rami Rayan died while shooting stills of a busy market where locals were shopping during a brief humanitarian truce.

Knowing the risks, Hamad continues to film until his camera dramatically captures the raid in which he and paramedic Fouad Jaber come under direct attack.

Paramedics, Hamad’s fellow journalists and family all maintain that Israel targeted journalists in order to try and minimise coverage of what the Palestinians described as a “massacre”.

Most of the footage in the film is Hamad’s, his camera never stops shooting even after he is struck, and continues rolling long after he has taken his final breath.

Source: Al Jazeera

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Filed under Gaza, Israel Defense Forces, Media, Occupation, People, Video

Bloggers Blogging Big Time in Gaza

I sat with a group of roaring lions this afternoon.  At least that’s how it felt to me.  A group of Palestinian bloggers met with a delegation from the US & UK.

roaring lion

Given a computer, and just a little bit of electricity, they roared through cyberspace with their stories, poems, news reports and eyewitness accounts of what was happening on the ground during Israel’s 8-day offensive in November.

No one is more powerful than a person with a passion for words and a desire to correct the injustices in the world.


The bloggers met the UK/US delegation at the offices of the Centre for Political and Development Studies.

Several explained what motivates them to blog.  Rawan Yaghi said she writes short stories and started blogging after the ’08-’09 war “to draw attention to the individual lives of people in Gaza.”


Sameeha Elwan wrote her dissertation on women bloggers and blogs herself to share the hopes and aspirations for the end of the occupation.


A  teacher encouraged Nour Al Borno to blog.  She started writing poems in 6th grade and loves poetry.  She writes to be heard, knowing that her words will be read long after she is gone.  Many people are reading her blog from countries that she must Google to find on the map.


Mohammed Abdullah from the Ministry of Communication mentioned that the most important site in this recent war was the media, with so many bloggers and citizen journalists sharing their perspectives about the events in nearly real-time format.  The world was paying attention this year as it hasn’t in the past.

Julie Webb-Pullman, a journalist from New Zealand, cautioned everyone to be aware of the massive cyber attacks that are ongoing.  Both Israel and Al-Qassam have apparently hired the same company to carry out cyber attacks.  (Did I hear that right?!?)

Two of the most exciting ideas I heard today give me alot of hope for the power of these bloggers.


Malaka Mohammed talked about a project between her university in Gaza and Sheffeld University in the UK, I think.  Bloggers are sharing their stories which are being posted on each other’s university websites.


And my hero, Ret. Col. Ann Wright, suggested that the bloggers host an international blogging conference in Gaza which she thinks would attract hundreds of international bloggers, but she added that the local authorities would have to facilitate their travel and entrance into Gaza with the Egyptian authorities.

I think that is a super cool idea!!



Here are 14 Palestinian bloggers from Gaza that you should check out!
Freedom to Palestine    http://malaka383.wordpress.com/
Gaza in Words    http://fidaaabuassi.com/
More Angry Notes from Palestine     http://msuliman.wordpress.com/
Here, I was Born     http://sameeha88.wordpress.com/
I Am     http://rawan-hp.blogspot.com/
Here We Are     http://sarahmali.wordpress.com/
Palestine From My Eyes     http://palestinefrommyeyes.wordpress.com
In Gaza, My Gaza    http://thisisgaza.wordpress.com/
And Thereby Hangs a Tale     http://palinoia.wordpress.com/
He who is brave is free      http://yeljamal.wordpress.com/
Crossthets       http://crossthets.wordpress.com
Palestine: Memory Drafts and Future Alleys   http://ranabaker.wordpress.com
Live From Gaza    http://livefromgaza.wordpress.com
It’s not only a dream: persist, resist and exist    http://maha-hussaini.blogspot.com/



Filed under Gaza, Media, nonviolent resistance, People