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Life | Gaza Under Siege

One of the most densely populated places on earth, the Gaza Strip is home to a million Palestinians – and is a virtual prison. Just 43 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide, most of its residents are refugees who’ve lived in camps since 1948. Since the Palestinian uprising – the second Intifada – began in September 2000, none of Gaza’s 40,000 day labourers have been able to cross the border to Israel. The checkpoint is also closed to all goods and medical supplies coming in from Israel and the West Bank. Local Gazans bear the brunt of Israel’s determination to quash the uprising. Over 500 Palestinian children under the age of 15 have been killed by Israel’s Defence soldiers. Their crime? throwing stones at checkpoints near Israeli setlements. This Life episode films with Reyidh and Sabah and their children – just one refugee family trying to cope. Reyidh hasn’t been able to work for nine months, and is now US$3,000 in debt. Already poor, the family has reached breaking point, with Sabah wondering how long life can go on with no solution in sight. Raji Soranj, a human rights lawyer, asks why the United Nations shies away from its responsibilities and fails to criticise Israel’s aggression and the denial of the Palestinians’ rights – rights laid down in UN resolutions, but ignored by Israel, and it seems, by the rest of the international community.

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