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Palestinian Hearts Broken Over The Ra...
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Yasser Abu Wazna
10 Feb 2016

The blockade of Gaza is entering its tenth year. For the past five years the Rafah Border Crossing to Egypt has been closed more than it has been open. In 2015 it was closed for over 300 days.

The thousands of Gaza Palestinians who want to travel to Egypt are required to regularly update their travel request applications at the travel department in the Abu Khadra Palestinian Ministries Complex in Gaza City.

Kitam Ali, a twenty five year old Palestinian woman, updated her application at the Abu Khadra Complex, then went to buy a Palestinian style ‘kufiya’, the traditional Middle Eastern headdress, as gift for Beiram, her Tunisian fiancée.

Khitam lives in the Nusirat Refugees Camp in the center of the Gaza Strip.

Two years ago she was introduced to Beiram, a young man in Tunisia, through Facebook. The two never met face to face but they fell in love after conversations Facebook and Skype. They decided to get engaged from a distance and have their wedding ceremony once Khitam could travel to Tunis. Now considered officially married, Khitam is doing her best to join Beiram and hold the wedding party but she has been unable to leave Gaza because of the blockade and border closing that was imposed on Gaza nine years ago. In the past she would ask Beiram to prepare for the wedding after getting promises from Gaza authorities to allow her to travel. The promises have not been fulfilled but Khitam has vowed to keep trying to unite with her fiancée in Tunis.

Her mother says the long delay is a problem for Khitam as she lives in a conservative society that does not accept a long period of engagement.

Suhair Sheikh Khalil, a thirty six year old mother from Egypt, is staying temporarily in her brother’s house in a refugee camp in Gaza City. She keeps in touch with two of her children in Egypt through Skype. Because they do not understand the difficult situation for their mother in Gaza, they complain about her excuses about being away from them for so long. Suhair and a seven year old daughter Nada have been trapped in Gaza for almost one year. Suhair keeps repacking their luggage in hopes of being able to return to Egypt the next day.

After traveling from Egypt to attend her nephew’s wedding at the United Nations Gaza Beach Refugee Camp, mother and daughter became trapped when the Rafah Crossing was closed following their arrival in April, 2015.

Suhair is a Palestinian with Egyptian nationality and married to an Egyptian citizen. Two of her three children stayed with their father in Egypt when their mother and sister traveled to Gaza. Suhair’s husband divorced her when she did not return to her home in Egypt on time. She says her husband is not convinced of her dilemma in Gaza since news media outlets in Egypt do not report on the closings of the Rafah Border Crossing.

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 03
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 04
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 25
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 05
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 06
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 07
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 01
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 08
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 09
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 10
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 19
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 11
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 23
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 24
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 20
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 12
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 21
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 13
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 14
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 15
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 16
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 17
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 18
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 22
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
29 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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Gaza Censors Books that “Harm Society”
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sami Ajrami
28 Jan 2015

Gaza, Palestine
January 28, 2015

Readers and researchers in Gaza Strip face a difficulty in accessing books that defy conservative Islamic norms. The director of Gaza’s municipal library Hassan Abu Ataya said that his staff avoid presenting books “that harm society” to the public. The library was founded in 1999 and contains about 25,000 books. However, it lacks basic academic references, especially in foreign languages. This lack also affects universities and often hinders the work of researchers and graduate students.
The owner of Yazigi bookstore, considered the largest in Gaza city, also said that his business provides books that abide by “our customs and traditions.” While books about Islam can be anywhere in Gaza, a customer at the bookstore said that it was very difficult to find books that discuss Marxist ideology.
Hamas is governed by the Islamist Hamas movement, which imposes conservative rules on society. In 2011, the ministry of culture banned several Arabic novels written by well-known writers, such as Egyptian novelist and essayist Alaa Aswani.

Shotlist
1- Wide of street , Gaza municipal library
2- Wide of Gaza municipal library building from outside
3- Various of bookshelves inside library
4- Close up of books
5- Wide of Hassan Abu Ataya organizing bookshelf

6- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Hassan Abu Ataya, General director of Gaza’s municipal library

“Concerning censorship on books, we examine the titles and we also classify the books according to their content. Why should we have books that might harm society? They might not be suitable for people. There is another policy. Books that contain criticism or things that might conflict with Sharia law are stored aside and could be shown only to very specialized readers.”

7- Wide of Yazji Bookstore
8- Wide of woman (Amal al-Haj) walking into Yaziji Bookstore
9- Various of woman (Amal al-Haj) inside Yaziji Bookstore

10- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Amal al-Haj, bookshop customer
01:59 – 02:28

“I noticed that more than a third of the books in this bookstore are religious books. There is also a large section for novels and poetry. Many things that interest specialists do not exist in the bookshop. Language books are almost completely missing from this bookstore, which is the largest in Gaza. Philosophy books and other references are also missing. It is difficult to find books written by Marx or Hegel. “

11- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Hatem al-Yazigi, Owner of Yazigi Bookstore
02:29 – 02:41
“There is no censorship on books, but we try to provide books that suit our customs and traditions.” 12- Various of books displayed on the street
13- Wide of Al-Sairafi Bookshop façade
14- Wide of university bookshop

15- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Muhannad al-Khairi, a resident of Gaza
03:19 – 03:42
“I brought about 20 or 30 books in a suitcase, including books that critique religious thought, atheism and similar topics. An officer at the border crossing objected that I had such a book. I had a very long argument with the officer. I was only able to convince him of letting me take the book inside Gaza after I told him that I also carried religious books with me.”

16- Various of library study hall and bookshelves. NAT Sound: Call for prayer.

17- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Sakher Katkat, University Students
04:08 – 04:38
“I had a research assignment about Napoleon’s life for a class in the second year of sociology. I could not find the book that I needed. I had to change the entire topic, even though I was eager to learn Napoleon’s history. I said to my professor that the information can be found online, but he refused that I take any information from the Internet. He wanted me to use that book and include all the relevant information. I said, ‘How can I get this information?’ the professor then told me to change the topic.

18- SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Hani Habib, University Lecturer
04:39 – 05:24

“Palestinian universities do not have libraries that meet academic requirements. University libraries lack important sources required by master and PhD students. The same applies to references in Arabic, but this lack is prominent in foreign languages, especially German or French. There are some books in English, but their number is very limited and insufficient.”

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Hamas Teenage Recruits 02
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Sanaa Kamal , Zaher ghoul
28 Jan 2015

Teenagers demonstrate military skills during a ceremony for graduation from a Hamas training camp in Yarmouk stadium in Gaza. January 29, 2015. Photo by Sanaa Kamal/Transterra Media

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No Payroll in Gaza
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Yasser Abu Wazna
16 Dec 2014

(01:00 -01:46)

(Man, Arabic)

Mohamad Tahoun

I am Mohamad Ahmed Abu Tahoun, I work in sanitation in al-Nasr children hospital. We have been on a strike for 8 days. And until now nothing is being said about the salaries.

As you can see our situation, nobody is helping us, if we find food we cook, if not we count of God. In our family, 3 men work in sanitation, and we have two handicaps to take care of. But we have not been paid for almost 4 months. Our situation is bad.

(02:09)

(Woman, Arabic)

Cherine tahoun

Interviewer: What is your name?

Cherine Tahoun: my name is cherine

Interviewer: what is your last name?

Cherine Tahoun: Tahoun

Interviewer: How old are you? 16, 26?

Cherine Tahoun: Yes

Interviewer: where did you learn embroidery?

Cherine Tahoun: at school

Interviewer: This is all your work? show us

(02:55-04:13)

(Woman, arabic)

Suzanne

I am Suzanne, Mohamad's wife, we are three sisters married to three brothers. My eldest sister got married to Rafi Abu Tahoun, and four years later, I married Mohamad, and then my youngest sister married Iyad, about two years ago.

We are technically living together now, we used to live separately, but now, and because of the situation, we had to live together.

With the salary of 700 shekel, we used to barely be able to manage, but now when we no longer receive the 700 shekel, our situation is terrible. let alone the fact that we have handicaps, we also have children in schools. They need allowances, books, stationary. It is a very hard position that we are in. I hope that when winter comes, things will be easier for us, I hate winter now, because of the cold and the leaking that happen into the house.

I graduated from the university in 2008, and until now, I did not get a job in any domain and i did not even receive an unemployment allowance. in god's will if I find a job, our situation will definitely improve.

(05:01-05:48)

(Man, Arabic)

Iyad Tahoun

My name is Iyad Ahmed Mohamad Abu Tahoun, I work in the sanitation company, and they have not been paying us for 4 months. My son needs medications every week. any we cannot pay, even the supermarket owner is not allowing us to take stuff and pay later. We had to take things from the pharmacy and the supermarket and promise to pay later, but our debt grew and the supermarket owner told me to pay my debt in order to keep giving us things.

The government in Gaza is blaming the government of the West Bank and the other way around.

I hope that the officials can find a solution to our problem. because we can no longer handle the situation.

(09:13-09:37)

(Man, Arabic)

Rafi Tahoun

She suffered from a stroke about two months ago, stayed in the hospital for a while and then we took her home, they improved for a while but recently her situation got worst. She cannot eat unless we use a syringe. Most of our stuff we get on the intention to pay later, or from people who offer help sometimes.

(09:39-09:59)

(Woman, Arabic)

We need lots of things,we need tissues, two boxes everyday, they cost 5 Shekel. and we need diapers every week, they cost 28 shekel, and there is no payment, no salaries, we get all of the things that we need, including food, with debt. The situation is difficult, as you can see.

(10:00-10:25)

(Man, Arabic)

Rafi Tahoun

The sanitation situation in the hospital is bad, there are volunteers, but it is not the same as when we used to work here . They collect the trash and that is it, they do not sanitize what needs to be sanitized.

(12:54-16:23)

(Man, Arabic)

Official

The sanitation workers used to be paid by the government formed by Hamas, but now since the government is one, it is al-Hamdallah government, and is responsible for Gaza and the West Bank, It is responsible for all the education, sanitation and all the other cases. We are not talking about a strike for government employees, we are talking about a strike for private companies employees. those employees work according to contracts were signed in the era of the government of Hamas, and now al-Hamdallah government should be responsible to pay for them.

The political issue between Hamas and Fateh should not be related to the responsibilities of the government. The government should be responsible in Gaza the same way it is responsible in the West Bank.

The government is not doing its duties even though al-Hamdallah visited Gaza, and there are 4 functioning minsters in Gaza, but it is not doing its duties, and that is why the citizens are stressed. The problem of health, unemployment and many others in gaza should be the responsibility of the government.

Hamas requested from the people to volunteer until the problem is solved.

There is no good reason for not paying the employees, employees in other sectors are being paid. the employees have the right to practice all kinds of pressuring methods in order to get their rights, and it has been 6 months of struggling without a solution for this problem.

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Al Qassam March in Gaza, 1412 2014
Gaza, Palestine, Gaza
By Yasser Abu Wazna
13 Dec 2014

Around 2,000 armed Hamas militants have paraded through the streets of Gaza, as the group vowed to destroy “this illusion called Israel” on the 27th anniversary of its founding.
It was the group’s largest show of force since the end of a 50-day war between it and Israel in the summer, and included the display of rockets and other heavy weaponry.
Sunday's march came three-and-a-half months after the end of the conflict that saw around 2,200 Palestinians and 72 Israelis killed, over which both sides have continued to claim victory.
Masked members parade in a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group Masked members parade in a rally to commemorate the 27th anniversary of the Hamas militant group Abu Ubaida, a representative for the brigades, said another confrontation with Israel might be inevitable unless the project to rebuild tens of thousands of homes damaged or destroyed in the Gaza Strip is accelerated.
“We will accept no less than the rebuilding of everything that was destroyed by the savage Zionist aggression,” the masked spokesman said.

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Bombed Houses in Gaza
Jabaliya
By Daniel Van Moll
18 Jul 2014

July 17, 2014
Jabaliya, Gaza

Civilians in the Jabaliya, Gaza inspect the ruins of their homes that were destroyed in Israeli airstrikes. The destruction of homes in Gaza has become of hallmark of Israel's latest offensive in the territory.

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Inside Gaza's Shifa Hospital
Gaza City
By Daniel Van Moll
18 Jul 2014

July 17, 2014
Gaza City

Injured children and civilians flood Gaza's Shifa hospital in desperate need of medical attention after falling victim to Israeli military action. Understaffed and under equipped, doctors rushed to save lives. Among them, Norwegian volunteer doctor Mads Gilbert treats victims alongside his Palestinian colleagues.

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Bombed Houses in Jabalya in Gaza City
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

A look out of a family home that has been attacked with missiles by Israeli forces in the early morning hours of July 17th, 2014 in Gaza City.

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The Central Morgue in Gaza City
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

The corpse of Abed Serhi who was killed by Israeli missiles while fixing antennas on a roof in Sheikh Ajneien in Gaza on July 16th, 2014. His body is being prepared for his funeral inside the central morgue in Gaza City on July 17th, 2014.

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The Central Morgue in Gaza City
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

The corpse of Abed Serhi who was killed by Israeli missiles while fixing antennas on a roof in Sheikh Ajneien in Gaza on July 16th, 2014 is being prepared for the funeral inside the central morgue in Gaza City on July 17th, 2014.

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The Central Morgue in Gaza City
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

A man in the back of a car, holding the corpse of his wife who was killed by Israeli missiles in Gaza City on the way to the funeral on July 17th, 2014.

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The Central Morgue in Gaza City
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

Family members picking up the corpse of a woman that was killed by Israeli missiles at the Central Morgue in Gaza City for her funeral on July 17th, 2014.

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The Central Morgue in Gaza City
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

Blood stains inside a carton that was used to bring body parts of fatalities from Israeli missile attacks on Gaza to the Central Morgue in Gaza City on July 17th, 2014.

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Gaza- Baker Family 10
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

The mother of Mohammed (11) who was among the four children killed by an Israeli airstrike on the beach of Gaza City on July 16th, 2014 being visited by women of her family on July 17th, 2014.

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Gaza- Baker Family 09
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

The mother of Mohammed (11) who was among the four children killed by an Israeli airstrike on the beach of Gaza City on July 16th, 2014 being visited by women of her family on July 17th, 2014.

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Gaza- Baker Family 01
By Daniel Van Moll
17 Jul 2014

The mother of Mohammed (11), who was among the four children killed by an Israeli airstrike on the beach of Gaza City on July 16th, 2014, being visited by women of her family on July 17th, 2014.