Dramatic Increase In Crime Rates In The Gaza Strip

 

Every time I want to write any topic about living in Gaza, I find myself compelled to talk about the political situation and how it affected our lives’ conditions and this bla bla bla, which I myself got sick of. We may escape from thinking in all this complicated situation, but we cannot escape from facing this reality every single day.

I believe our society is living challenging period with many new issues and problems, the one I’m writing about here is the high rate of crimes ( including murder crimes, theft crimes and rape crimes) and suicide cases, which could rarely happened in the past or to be precise before 2007 such accidents were uncommon in Gaza society to this extent.

I as a member in this society just can’t turn a blind eye for the degeneration in the kind of the social life and manners happened in Gaza Strip in this period due to the poverty, unemployment, siege, and the lack in everything needed for the basics of the daily life which caused from my own point of view the condition of  deep depression and desperate among the people. The latest report I had read was published in 2015, it showed that the rate of unemployment in Gaza Strip is 60% and I’m sure now it had exceeded this percentage.

What we are expecting now?

Actually, No expectations , we just have hopes.

By reference to what I mentioned above about the high rates of crime and suicide cases, unfortunately I couldn’t find any updated statistics or published reports showing any clear numbers, but you know what is the most interesting thing about the Gaza Strip?

The most interesting thing about the Gaza Strip community, is that all of the people know each other, it is a small area in comparison to other cities in the world and that Gaza Strip is indeed a closed area with people have a lot of free time to talk about each other’s news and events. So that, when a crime happens in the southernmost, in less than one hour people living in the far north will know about it.

In average, personally I can tell that one murder crime happens every 2 months and of course this is an objectionable matter when comparing this to the period before 2007 as almost we could hear about one or two murder crimes in the whole year.

This situation is simply frustrating as this kind of crimes is raising every day and it is really out of control, even applying execution judgments on murderers didn’t  stop such crimes because we must note that in addition to the high rate of crime there is also a high rate of addiction to different types of drugs too. It was proved too that almost all the murderers, thieves and other criminals were addicted to drugs as announced in few police reports here in Gaza.

This article is addressed to the local government in Gaza Strip as they approved their failure in controlling the situation for reasons might be in or out their control, but undoubtedly they must create new methods in fighting crime depending on psychology as I believe the non-ended circle of violence the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip are living in since 2007 affected them badly.

My hopes for Fateh and Hamas may seem naive and childish, but I really hope they may put an end for their political conflicts and think about the people here in Gaza, who are living in an inhuman conditions due to their conflicts.

Finally, I have hopes that the international community  and human rights organizations may contribute in showing the real truths about the reality in Gaza Strip and help in reforming this inhuman situation in Gaza Strip.

 

 

 

 

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Stuck In Gaza

Sometimes I feel curious about certain historical events; it came to my mind to search about the longest blockade in history, the information tell that the siege of Heraklion ( city in Greece) is the longest as it lasted 21 years. Some historians determined this point according to the kind of siege as there is a theory divided the siege into direct siege and indirect siege. Hence they  considered the longest siege is the Israeli siege for Palestine depending on considering it indirect siege, as the Israeli side controls the internal and external movement of the Palestinian people since 1948, so it is a 68 years siege and it is still remain up to date.

Now Gaza city in particular in a blockade condition since 2007 up to date, which is according to modern history specialists, political analysts and humanitarian considerations is the longest.

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In April 2014 it was published in news that Israel’s seven-year blockade of the Gaza Strip is the “longest in history,” according to the newly-appointed United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Pierre Krahenbuhl.

The main goal of this blockade was to punish Gaza or to be exact to punish Hamas party for controlling Gaza city not taking in consideration that Gaza people are not all Hamas members, but it doesn’t matter as Israel considered Gaza people as ” Hamas’s victims”.

Living in a blockade condition is not an easy thing for any people indeed, as there is an apparent suffer in all fields of the daily life and there is always a mass shortage in people’s needs.

Lately I’ve received messages from two different persons; one is an Arab and the second was European, they asked about the situation in Gaza and ended their speeches by asking ” why don’t you just travel from Gaza?” . This question stopped me to write this article and made the previous detailed introduction to clear this point. Almost all news websites write many details about the condition of Gaza, but it is clear that it is still ambiguous for many people too.

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Diagram shows Gaza Strip crossings and their use

To travel from or to Gaza for me is the most oppressive and exhausting thing you might experience ever. There are two borders for travelers; the Egyptian borders “Rafah crossing” which open every months for only three or four days and sometimes it is just ” closed until further notice” and the borders with Israel “Erez crossing” which opens almost permanently, but only certain people can get permission to go through it such as sick people, businessmen, foreigners with international organizations, journalists and students having visas to study outside Gaza.

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Palestinian passing through Erez crossing
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Palestinian passing through Erez crossing

To go through Rafah borders you have to register your name and to be put on the waiting list knowing that you may wait for years. There are rules too in order to register as you must be a student having a visa and register in a university outside Gaza, sick in a need for receiving treatment outside, have residency in another country, have a non-Palestinian passport, other urgent needs and no place luxuries for example traveling for tourism reasons. To be honest, sometimes you must bribe someone here in Gaza or in the Egyptian side  in order to ease your pass.

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Palestinians waiting to pass through Rafah borders
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Palestinians waiting to pass through Rafah borders

And therefore, we are just stuck in Gaza until a political miracle takes place.

Ramadan Mubarak from Gaza With Love !

 

It’s the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Gaza City , the month all Muslims await to purify their souls and get close to Allah in all acts of worshiping like fasting, praying, making charity  and reading Qur’an. Sure this month has its own blessings, rituals and appearances and in the city of Gaza Ramadan is just like all Muslim and Arab countries.  Many will write about how miserable the situation  is in Gaza and how Gazans will suffer in Ramadan because of the political situation and its consequences such as; the blockade, the unaccomplished reconstruction projects, the unsolved situation between Hamas in Gaza and Fateh in Ramallah, the useless negotiations with the Israeli side, the continuous electricity problem and many other political BLA BLA BLA .

Despite all this BLA BLA BLA, the preparations for Ramadan are ongoing. Gaza people have their suffers and problems, but nothing ever will make them away from dressing their city with whatever it require in order to live Ramadan’s joy and spirituality as it must be. These preparations cost them a lot of expenses and  efforts starting from the tables of Iftar, social commitments and visits for the relatives, Iftar invitations for family and close friends and ending by Ramadan’s  decorations.

Leaving you with  the latest photos for Ramadan preparations from Gaza.

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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photographer: Mona Zemili. Instgram :https://www.instagram.com/monazemili/?hl=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/mona_zemili Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mona.zemili
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Photo source : https://www.facebook.com/AlJayyar.chocolate/
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Photo source : https://www.facebook.com/AlJayyar.chocolate/
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Photo source : https://www.facebook.com/AlJayyar.chocolate/
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Photo source : https://www.facebook.com/AlJayyar.chocolate/
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Photo source : https://www.facebook.com/AlJayyar.chocolate/
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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/careforGaza/?fref=ts&em=1
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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/careforGaza/?fref=ts&em=1
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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/careforGaza/?fref=ts&em=1
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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/careforGaza/?fref=ts&em=1
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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/careforGaza/?fref=ts&em=1
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Photo source: https://www.facebook.com/careforGaza/?fref=ts&em=1

Marriage Reality in Gaza

If you are interested in any country or civilization, certainly you will ask questions about its history, traditions, beliefs and even superstitions. I bet that everyone had read topics like “weird marriage customs around the world or bizarre wedding rituals”. Anyway, regarding marriage customs’ in Gaza, you will not hear about crazy or bizarre rituals like those in India or Africa.

I may mention that there are mainly two types of marriages in Gaza; traditional marriage and non-traditional marriage.

When we talk about traditional marriage, what will come to your mind is the family arranged marriage, it is when the man’s family look for a suitable girl and arrange the thing with her family so both see each other in the girl’s family house and then give their decision about each other. What I meant by “suitable girl” is that the man’s family looks for a girl suits them socially, but what the man and the girl look for in this kind of marriage? Typically men look for certain levels of beauty, education, social class, the less demanding   and a good reputation. About girls in this kind of marriage, they evaluate the man’s social class, reputation, shape, level of education and financial abilities, then accept marrying him or not.

Yes, it is like this actually.

For more clarification, I may mention too the type of girls in such situation:

  • Girls who are totally controlled by their families and have now personality or vision or even opinion and they do whatever their families decide and see appropriate.
  • Girls who have a vision about their future life and how they imagine it to with the ability to accept of refuse the marriage offers regarding what they want, in addition for being raised with an understanding families encourage them to express themselves.

Concerning the non-traditional marriage, what sets it apart from the traditional marriage is how the man and the woman meet, they usually get to know each other before getting married whether they knew each other from the neighborhood, university, work or even from ant social media website it doesn’t differ . The challenge of this kind of marriage is the family attitude towards them, as both could be from totally different social class and what they only look for love and understanding in each other. There are families which will refuse this kind if there was a social difference and they will do whatever they can do in order to prevent this marriage, and there are families that will accept their sons’ or daughters’ decisions even if they didn’t agree in condition they won’t have any role in their lives in case of any future problems.

In this kind of marriage usually there are two types of men:

  • Negative men, who can’t stand against their families and after a while they will leave their “love stories” for the sake of their family’s satisfaction.
  • Positive men, who will not accept to give up and force their families to accept their desires even if they married so late or didn’t get married at all.

Now we must talk about the girls’ families’ attitude towards this marriage:

  • Families who consider it a kind of shame if their daughters had a relationship before marriage.
  • Families who will not be positive at all if the man was from a less social class and will refuse it even if their girl didn’t get married ever.
  • Families who will accept and regret later in case there were social differences.
  • Understandable families, who will agree.

Regarding the girls’ situation:

  • Girls who won’t accept their families decision and take their time to convince them and if they failed they will give up.
  • Girls who will force their families by threatening them they will not accept to marry any other man and by  promising to  undertake the responsibility of their marriage.
  • Girls who will react towards their families’ refusal by eloping, but these cases are few and rare.

This was a quick explanation for the reality of marriage in Gaza, but still as we say here       ” marriage is just like a watermelon no one knows how it would be from the inside”, we can’t judge any kind of marriage as what we may seem as a bad marriage, may become the most successful and what would appear to us as a great marriage, may turn to be the most miserable marriage.

Even we can’t guarantee the non- traditional marriage as it depends on both sides attitude after marriage.

Personally, Marriage for me is very complicated decision and a step really needs deep and cautious thinking, it is as a matter of luck; there are no guarantees for anything.