As Palestinians Sidelined, VICE Gets a Rare Glimpse Inside Gaza

ByJason Mojica

Today's New York Times reports that 14 months since the beginning of the Arab Spring, Palestinian leadership is increasingly marginalized and the Israel-Palestine is fading from the international spotlight.

As momentum for the two-state solution fades, and the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations remains stalled, Palestinians are becoming increasingly splintered. As the peace process remains stalled, popular affection is reportedly shifting to Hamas, the group listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government which controls Gaza.

Moreover, the longer that progress remains stagnant, the chance of a new eruption of violence in the West Bank might be increasing. In recent months, rock throwing and confrontations with Israeli troops, signature of the Second Intifada, have picked up. Likewise, Israeli troops have increased their nightraids on West Bank cities.

To get a closer look at the state of affairs in Palestine, VICE media recently sent a team of reporters into Gaza to examine the economic, political, and social toll of the occupation on the Hamas-controlled territory. VICE founder Suroosh Alvi tried to enter into Gaza through the Israeli border in 2007 but got denied entry. When the post-Mubarak government of Egypt decided to allow small numbers of people into Gaza through their Rafah crossing, VICE made a successful second attempt to enter.

VICE founder Suroosh Alvi and producer Jason Mojica explore everything from the drug and  weapons trade that’s filtering in through a network of tunnels from Egypt, to young drug abusers who claim to use due to their disgust and despair over Hamas rule. They embed themselves with Hamas and attend a press conference led by armed militants.

In one memorable quote, Alvi and Mojica interview Palestinian youth, and one says that “dying is better than living like this.”

Here's the video:

Producer Jason Mojica is taking your questions, comments, and participating in the debate throughout the day. Respond to the video and ask him questions below.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons