Occupation is...Views of young people from Gaza

2017 marks 50 years of Israel’s military occupation of Palestine, and 10 years of Israel’s land, sea and air blockade of Gaza.  On this grim milestone, we asked young people in Gaza to tell us what they think of the occupation and share how it impacts their lives.

“Avian flu”

File 37871Taghreed

For Taghreed, occupation is like Avian Flu; it comes from another country and spreads. 

“The Israelis left Gaza [a unilateral disengagement in 2005]; they say there is no occupation any longer. But it is still there.  The signs of sickness are everywhere.  

"And then there is the blockade. Other countries can build their strategic vision for the future. Here, we struggle for food.”

A steel cage

File 37872Fidaa

For Fidaa, occupation is a steel cage.

“We have lost the key, which was our unity,” she laments, referring to the geographical and political fragmentation of the occupied Palestinian territory.

Occupation also functions as a real cage, trapping Gaza’s 2 million-strong population within an area of just 365km squared. 

Fidaa’s brother was diagnosed with cancer, but movement restrictions imposed by the Israeli government mean he cannot leave Gaza for treatment.  It is next to impossible for young men to do so, even in the most desperate of circumstances.

No jobs, no opportunities

File 37873Sabrin

Sabrin is a graduate, but she cannot find a job despite having all the right certifications and skills.

She has previously applied for job opportunities in other Arab countries but is not able to secure a permit to travel outside Gaza, meaning she cannot take up any opportunities that arise.  

The lack of freedom of movement has killed her ambition and, along with it, her hope for a better future.