Of all the bizarre encounters the Palestinian conflict has generated, Tony Blair's four meetings in Doha with Khaled Meshaal, the Hamas leader must surely rank as one of the oddest.
The Gaza Strip is among the most densely populated areas in the world, and the 1.8 million Palestinian residents suffer from economy-crippling mobility restrictions. They survived an exceptionally cold winter, in which at least four babies died of exposure, and are now enduring a summer of record-breaking heat.
One year into the cease-fire agreement that ended last summer's 50-day war in the Gaza Strip, Israel and Hamas appear to be advancing toward a series of understandings -- an agreement, even -- that would practically end the siege on the Gaza Strip and bring long-term quiet to the area. The agreement talks are being mediated by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who three months ago stepped down as the longtime envoy of the international Quartet.
The aftermath of the 2014 Israeli bombardment is not the only thing residents of the Gaza Strip have to worry about. Although they no longer have to fear attacks from the IDF (Israeli Defense Force), a new threat has emerged: right-wing Israeli terrorists.
The prospective Israeli-Hamas truce presents a momentous opportunity, albeit in disguise, for all parties concerned to turn a new page in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and change its geopolitical and security dynamics, which succeeding Israeli and Palestinian governments could build on.
A pair of recent atrocities by Israeli terrorists (which is what they must be called) underscores the futility of diverting attention from the country's oppression of Palestinians by emphasizing its pro-gay policies.
After 47 years of occupation, the time has come for all decent Israelis to think about the future of their country. Where is Israel heading, and for how much longer can the occupation and the injustices continue without jeopardizing Israel's very existence?
How can the international community allow Israel to continue to invade Gaza, over and over again, and inflict such massive pain and devastation on the Palestinians with total impunity? Is there any moral basis left to Israel's prosecution of this uneven "war" and to the international community's inaction?
Three years ago, the United Nations issued a report predicting that the Gaza Strip would be uninhabitable by 2020. Thanks to Israel's recent attack, this warning appears to have arrived sooner than expected.
One year after the 2014 war that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and destroyed thousands of houses, people in Gaza are struggling to survive under a crippling blockade.
"The Amnesty reports were just Israeli propaganda, or the best face one could put on the horror Israel inflicted on Gaza."
One year ago, on July 7, 2014, Israel launched "Operation Protective Edge," a massive assault on the Gaza Strip. For 51 days, Israel bombarded Gaza with more than 6,000 airstrikes. Many of them hit residential buildings.
Too often children in conflict areas are merely portrayed as victims, who have others speak for them. But this call to hear them speak for themselves, uniting them through modern technology, turned out to be incredibly powerful. Even though video calling is brand new to the kids in Gaza, they sure have plenty to say.
For the sake of world order and justice, responsibility and accountability cannot be meaningless concepts on whichever side. How else will the vicious cycle end?
To those in Gaza, the ships to Gaza whether in flotillas or one ship at a time, are a visible sign of the concern of citizens around the world for their welfare.