‘In Gaza There are Missiles and Here There are Tourists’

Jehad Abu Saleem (left) and Mariam Abuamer (Photos by Lena Masri for Voices of NY)

Jehad Abu Saleem (left) and Mariam Abuamer (Photos by Lena Masri for Voices of NY)

[Editor’s note: This post has been updated with some details to provide greater context.]

A year ago on July 8, Israel launched a military operation in the Gaza Strip, with the stated aim of stopping rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.

Israel’s bombings killed more than 1,400 civilian Palestinians, while Palestinian militants killed six civilian Israelis, according to the United Nations Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict, which recently issued its report.

“The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come,” the chair of the commission, Justice Mary McGowan Davis told a press briefing. She added that “there is also on-going fear in Israel among communities who come under regular threat.”

War crimes may have been committed during the 51 day operation, the U.N. report said, “by both Israel and Palestinian armed groups.”

Today, 100,000 Gazans remain homeless because of last summer’s bombings that destroyed thousands of Palestinian homes. The rest of the people still suffer from the ongoing blockade and electricity shortages, but these problems draw little attention around the world.

Two Gazans in New York, unable to return, worry about their families back home.

Reporter Lena Masri spoke with them for Voices of NY.



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