“We are buried alive in a big tomb” – an account of life under occupation

November 24, 2013 · by palestinesolidaritycampaign | Chat2Gaza

In a speaking tour organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, senior Gaza journalist Yousef Al-Helou has been touring British universities to give a first-hand account of life under occupation and siege. His visit to the University of Greenwich is described here, by student Firas Wahhab

by Firas Wahhab

On November the 19th, the University of Greenwich’s Palestine Solidarity Society partnered with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) to host a talk which involved Gaza journalist, Yousef Al-Helou and PSC’s student co-ordinator, Amena Saleem.

Amena began the talk by giving a brief history of what has occurred in Palestine since the Nakba (The Catastrophe) in 1948, when approximately 13,000 Palestinians were massacred and 750,000 were expelled from their homeland, up until recent times.

She then discussed some of the great work that PSC does, such as promoting boycotts of companies which are complicit in Israel’s occupation, such as Veolia and G4S, conducting protests and exposing the propaganda that Israel uses when it attempts to hide its inhumane actions from the rest of the world.

PSC campaigns for the end of the Israeli occupation, the siege on Gaza, and for the Palestinians achieve their right to self-determination and the right of return of refugees.

Amena then read some painful extracts from an article on The Guardian regarding how the West Bank wall is affecting the people of Palestine. The wall was begun in 2002 and results in the additional loss of 9.4% of the West Bank to Israel, in addition to what has been lost to settlements.

A man named Hajajla who lived in al-Walaja, a village surrounded by the wall, was told that his family have to leave their house to make way for settlers. He refused and was then threatened. He responded by saying: “I am supported by someone even stronger than the state of Israel – God”, a testament to how strong the people of Palestine are.

Another Palestinian by the name of Claire Anastas stated that: “We are buried alive in a big tomb. It is inhumane. But we hope that the wall will come down one day. Nothing is impossible” which again shows the strength of the Palestinians, in my opinion, as they will not let the harsh reality of the wall affect their well being.

Yousef began the talk by introducing who he was and what his work entails. He is a freelance journalist who reports on all aspects of life in Gaza and has also produced over 2,000 short films. He left Gaza in September to be a research fellow at The Reuters Institute, Oxford University.

He then discussed some facts about Gaza. It is one of the most densely populated areas on the planet as its geographical size is 25 miles long and 5 to 6 miles wide and the population is 1.6 million. Out of the 1.6 million people, 55% are under the age of 18.

He then spoke about the effects of the barbaric siege placed upon Gaza in 2007 such as the economy turning fragile and that no exporting can occur, only imports. The health sector is in such an appalling shape that 500 patients have died in hospitals since the siege began, due to a lack of medicine available. Furthermore, 95% of drinking water is unclean and not safe to drink.

Yousef then talked about how Israeli forces destroyed the only power plant in Gaza in 2006, which has caused many ongoing problems for the population. The people of Gaza now only receive six hours of electricity a day as they cannot afford Israeli fuel. Candles are heavily relied upon. Yousef showed a picture of children protesting at school with a candle on each desk, which I felt was one of the most powerful things that I have ever seen.

An image of Gaza International Airport was then shown, before and after its destruction, which just added to a long list of despicable actions by the Israeli state. A video put together by Yousef showing hundreds of students waiting to leave Gaza was then shown. They had been stranded at the Rafah Crossing for seven days whilst the borders were shut.

Yousef then discussed citizen journalism in Gaza and how it is on the rise. This is because mainstream media is not trusted anymore by the general public and with the help of the internet, citizens have taken the situation into their own hands. This is yet another example of how strong the people of Gaza are. Yousef stated that citizen journalism is helping the people of Gaza to regain their voice.

I found this talk a very beneficial experience as it was the first time that I had ever spoken to a Palestinian citizen. To hear an account from a citizen of Gaza first-hand, adds an extra dimension to our understanding, in my opinion. It gave us all a greater understanding of the modern day situation in Gaza and has motivated us to become more active in supporting the Palestinians’ right to freedom.

I seriously urge anybody reading this who is a part of a Palsoc in England to organise a talk with Yousef and the PSC as it is fundamental to hear an account of modern day Gaza which does not contain a shred of Israeli propaganda, as well as one which is also from an actual citizen of Gaza.

Palestine Solidarity Campaign : http://www.palestinecampaign.org/

The Guardian ‘Walled World’ http://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2013/nov/walls#mexico

For who does not understand the need or concept of resistance of Palestine, recommended read:

The History of Resistance – The Eagle of Palestine


  • The “Rocket” from Gaza MythPhotography
  • More facts about the Rocket from Gaza MythsStorify
  • Half the story: What @IDFSpokesperson leaves out about #Gaza ~ by @yousefmunayyer
  • Israel and #Gaza: Context Behind Projectile Fire ~ by @yousefmunayyer
  • Truths and lies behind Israel’s attacks on Gaza and its whining about rockets ~ by @AliAbunimah
  • Israel is not looking for peace. Nor talks. But: This


  • March 23, 2012 | Gaza Siege Harshness Continues. Israel’s committing slow-motion genocide ~ by Stephen Lendman
  • March 18, 2012 | A “Leaflet” to the World about it’s own “forgotten” Extermination Camp called Gaza
  • Sept 5,  2013  | “Slow Death” -International report says collective punishment of Gaza has reached critical stage – Incl Full Report  PDF


Click on the thumbnails to view the full albums

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 21, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 20, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 19, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 18, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 17, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 16, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 15, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 14, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 11, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 10, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 8, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Nov 5, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Oct 29, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Oct 28, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Oct 24, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Oct 22, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Oct 7, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Sept 29, 2012

Photos Gaza Under Attack Sept 19, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack Sept 10, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack – Sept 6, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack Aug 5, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack July 12, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack June 23, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack June 1-22, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack May 17, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack April 4, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack March 14, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack March 13, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack March 12, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack March 11, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack March 10, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack March 20, 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack February 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack January 2012

Photos #Gaza Under Attack December 2011

Photos #Gaza Under Attack Oct & Nov 2011

Photos #Gaza Under Attack Aug-Sept 2011

PHOTOS | Israel’s Massacre Cast Lead on Gaza 2008-2009



Martyred By Israeli Occupation Attacks

انّا للہ و انّا الیه راجعون

May Allah Subhana wa Ta’ ala grant the Shuhada Jannatul Firdaus, and ease it for their families, loved ones and anyone around them. Allahumma Ameen ya Rabbil Alameen. ‘ Inna Lillahi wa ‘ Inna ‘ Ilayhi Raji’un, Allahu Akbar


* The list of shuhada does not display, the numerous victims of the zionist occupation which are undocumented by media. Nor it displays the victims of the “silent onslaught” due to restrictions of movement, ability to go to hospitals for treatment or life saving surgery, due to lack of medication because of the blockades and so on. For example: The Slow Motion Genocide by the Siege on Gaza only, killed 600 patients since Gaza got under Israeli Siege.

For an overview of All Israeli Massacres Palestinians go here

Neither does this list, display the avoidable mortality. A clear and statistical factual evidence, about the number of deaths due to indecent ruling by occupation forces. For even an occupier has obligations under International Laws, Geneva Convention and the Hague regulations, which it is neglecting. These circumstances, together with deliberate policies of the occupier to neglect and even deny every basic human right, severes avoidable mortality which is totally silenced by media or reporting organisations. While in the Holocaust, 1 on 6 Jewish people directly died of deliberate neglect, so if we believe the facts over 1 million due to avoidable mortality, neither should these same circumstances be ignores which are ongoing in Palestine. For this report displays a avoidable morality of at least 0,5 million Palestinians.

How many more dead corpses of Palestinians does the international community need to see in order to act? How many more cruelties and violations of Human Rights, Regulations and International Law will be needed to intervene so this ongoing warcrime is being stopped once and for all.

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