One year from the tragedy of Gaza, Palestine Monitor presents Palestine’s Guernica, a detailed account of the causes and consequences of Israel’s brutal assault. Using eyewitness testimonies, expert analysis, and a collection of articles and photography from Palestine Monitor, Guernica provides a new level of insight and humanity to a massacre that shamed the world.
Split into sections that focus on before, during, and after, Guernica begins the narrative from Israel’s unilateral disengagement in 2005, and the escalation which followed. We see how Israel’s siege of Gaza led to Hamas’ election success and the shaky ceasefires that ensued, making conflict inevitable. Reports from human rights groups, politicians, and journalists describe the suffering of civilians before the attack and the poverty, disease, and unemployment resulting from Israel’s illegal blockade.
The events of December and January are detailed through editorials, witness testimonies, and a thorough set of statistics, taken from the United Nations and independent human rights groups. Foreign ministers, academics, and UN officials unite in condemnation of an assault targeting civilians and property as much as Hamas. The truth of collective punishment is documented, exposing the lie of Israel’s “moral” army. Powerful eyewitness accounts reveal the daily trauma of victims trapped in the killing zone; a mother describes discovering her five dead daughters; a doctor details the murder of his family. For survivors like these, the scars of a month-long period of terror will never heal.
The cynical tactics of the IDF are laid bare, from the shelling of civilian targets to a calculated destruction of essential resources that is crippling the Gazan economy today.
Nowadays, Palestinians in Gaza face the daunting task of how to reconstruct their lives following the loss of relatives, homes, personal belongings, dignity. “Coming to terms with such devastation is almost impossible in Gaza, where the resumption of normality is denied because of the total siege imposed by Israeli authorities, which represents a collective punishment to 1.5 millions civilians,”said Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, editor and Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, during the release of Palestine’s Guernica at the beginning of December. “Israel still controls the air, land, and water around the Strip, and every entry-point in.”
In the aftermath, as Gaza struggles to rebuild and a new generation grows out of the ashes, Guernica examines the legacy of war, the implications for a future peace, international involvement, and the prospects for a young and traumatised population. Will the perpetrators of the massacre go unpunished? Will the siege ever end? In the words of Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi, “Goldstone was just the beginning. Israel wanted Palestinians to understand that their continued resistance, even in the most peaceful and nonviolent way, is futile. We can say that Israel has failed, and the spirit of resistance lives on.”
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