Akram is a reporter for Britain’s Independent newspaper and he writes plainly and clearly about his family’s experiences.

January 8: Everyone looked relieved and we’re hoping the temporary ceasefire will be repeated. But it’s a sad reminder of the time when Gaza was occupied by Israel before the creation of the Palestinian Authority and we had curfews that the Israelis would lift for two hours so that people could go to the market. Gaza is supposed to be free and unoccupied but in fact Israeli soldiers still have the power to keep us in our homes or let us go to the market.

In any case, the three hours passed quickly. We bought cans of fish, beans, cheese, eggs. I went to see my pregnant wife Alaa who is staying at her mother’s house, and then rushed back at five minutes before 4pm, afraid that heavy bombardment would resume suddenly.

Our biggest need is still for cooking gas. We’re finding ways to adjust; my mother remembered an old brass stove her father used 30 years ago. It’s working well. But the smell of burnt kerosene, mixed with the smell of the food being cooked, and the sound of the burner, leave you thinking we have moved out of the 21st century. Waiting for the tea from this old cooker and holding the laptop in my arm, the two things didn’t seem to go together.

Raising Yousuf and Noor: diary of a Palestinian mother

According to the bio on the site, the author is based in Canada but in touch with friends and family in Gaza, and she posts their updates.

January 9: You don’t know anymore; you don’t know who is alive, you feel you are in a trap, you don’t know who is a target” said my friend and neighbour in Gaza city, journalist Taghreed El-Khodary, the fear resonated in her voice, over the phone to Aljazeera. Taghreed lives on the street over from my parent’s.

“Where to? Where can I go seek refuge to?” she continued. “I live next to the parliament which was destroyed; next to the police station, which was destroyed; next to the hospitals, which were bombed; and the Israeli navy is shelling from the sea, the F-16s from the sky, the tanks from the ground…where to?” she repeated again and again.

“First your house shakes, and the windows break, and the fear…the fear. And when you see all these children around you in the hospital. Some can draw-and what they drawing is unbelievable. A six-year old boy in my house drew a picture of boy that was alive, and another that was dead. he said the dead boy was his friend, whom the Israelis killed. And the father is unable to protect his child. And the mothers are trying to hide their fear from their kids.”

Life must go on in Gaza and Sderot

A blog written by two friends, a Palestinian and an Israeli, (recently profiled by NPR). The site is supposed to be an exchange of ideas, but, recent updates deal with practical matters, too.

January 7: It is hard to describe what is going on in Gaza, a terrible disaster, where the aircraft do not distinguish between civilians and military and children, no water ,electricity and difficult to get your needs .

We didn’t have electricity since 6 days, and today was the first day to have it, that’s why I have chance to write this quickly.

We have said from the beginning that violence will bring more violence. I hope the world will understand that’s there people want to live safe with dignity and peace .

I hope I will have the chance to write you again.


Zoriah is an independent photojournalist, and although he’s not currently located in Gaza, his blog features some older images that are nonetheless important. This collection of photographs of the Hamas tunnel system is a must-see:

January 8 In August I was granted access to descend into and photograph a Hamas tunnel system, something that few local journalists, much less foreign press are allowed to see or document. Palestinians risk their lives working in the tunnels both for monetary reward and basic survival, so for me it was interesting to document the risks they take in order to dig and operate these tunnels. They have always been a risky operation and many people have lost their lives. Three people died in a tunnel collapse the day before I arrived to shoot this story and the tunnel I was supposed to visit collapsed on my trip down to Rafah from Gaza City.
If you'd like to get email from CJR writers and editors, add your email address to our newsletter roll and we'll be in touch.

Katia Bachko is on staff at The New Yorker.