Are Palestinian's in the Gaza Strip enduring a new "concentration camp" as much of the western media portrays? Does the IDF create harsh living conditions stamping out the weak in its pursuit of terrorist?
There has been a good deal of media in the western world that depicts Palestinians being contained in a wasteland of empty food stores, barren library shelves, razor wire lined along streets, and starving children. It also portrays the IDF as a massive big brother overlord intent on dehumanizing the residents of Gaza, ensuring their lives are as miserable and pitiful as possible, thereby preventing terrorist from attacking Israeli's.
On the flip side, the IDF would have you believe they have deployed an army of angels, dutifully striking in a surgical manner only the worst of the worst terrorist bent on the downfall of Israel. And that they break their backs to ensure Palestinians get all the food, medical and living supplies needed to have a good quality of life.
But which side is telling the truth? They can't be both right?
So the answer may never be truly known, but we can use the available evidence to draw some realistic conclusions. We'll post some photos and let you draw your own conclusions.
Here's a picture of a grocery store in Gaza as taken by Hatem Moussa of the AP, it was never released for news coverage.
Here's a picture of a hotel in Gaza, taken by Mohammed Asad.
These two images don't give you a complete picture of Gaza, but the fact that they exist disputes the notion as portrayed by some that Gaza is a wasteland of rubble populated by indiginous poor Palestinians who hobble together a megar existance.
The fact of the matter is, the IDF facilitates tons of food and products for shipment across the border and into Gaza on a daily basis. It is true that it is all inspected, and that at times can create some shortages of various items for short periods.
Most products are delivered directly to Gaza residents, businesses and aid agencies such as the Red Cross and the UNRWA. Even dual use items, such as those with a civilian and military application go through, the IDF does not block them. They are however given extra security to ensure they are delivered to the intended use under the Wassenaar Arrangement.
It is also true that IDF soldiers are NOT angels. They belong to a species called human. Therefore, imperfect by nature, they are just like the other 7.5 billion on earth. Within any organization there are always a few who take inappropriate actions that catch the attention of the media, becuase it creates good ratings and revenue. The IDF does receive some of the best instruction and training on human rights, and tolerance of any military oganization in the world.
The fact is, the IDf does goes to great lengths to facilitate the needs of the Gaza residents, while ensuring that they are not also delivering devices to their own destruction. It is good media exposure, and it is good publicity for Gazans to put themselves out to the world as if they suffer in concentration like camps. That they are helpless, poor and hungry.
But just like any society, there are always the less fortunate economically, and those who exceed and gain a very comfortable lifestyle, and it is no different in Gaza.