“I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza…” —Amos 1:7
GAZA STRIP, PALESTINE — In a small cafe in Gaza City, Amjad Shawa, the coordinator for the Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), sips black coffee and ruminates on the Israeli blockade of Gaza. “This siege isn’t about ‘security’ or even about Hamas,” he says. “Israel’s ultimate aim is to separate Gaza from the West Bank and kill the Palestinian national project.”
The Gaza Strip, a 25-mile-long narrow coastal plain wedged between Israel and Egypt, is home to 1.5 million Palestinians. Despite its small size, Gaza in many ways encapsulates the essence of two of the world’s major conflicts: the rise of political Islam and the use by the West of collective punishment and economic coercion as a brutal counterweight.