Correction: A photo previously included in this article was incorrectly sourced. It has been removed.
Sun, beach, shopping: these are the types of things that define summer all over the world, and Gaza is no different.
Despite what you may hear from the media, Gaza is not an “open-air prison.” This summer, Gazans are out in force, enjoying themselves in beautiful beaches and hotels, and doing their shopping in pristine grocery stores and markets heaving with fresh produce. Gaza even boasts an Olympic-size swimming pool.
Here are some of the places you can visit in Gaza on an ordinary summer’s day:
1. The beach for a volleyball game
3. A new grocery store to pick up something for dinner
4. The Market to stock up on fruit and candy
As you can see, there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Many Gazans have money, food and even luxuries that much of the world goes without. What is missing, however, is a stable, democratic government. The moment any Gazan speaks against Hamas or Islam in even the smallest way, they are punished severely with torture and death. A surplus of money also means that Hamas can pay terrorists to kill Israelis through suicide attacks and missiles.
Gazans can now buy whatever they want. They still cannot, however, say whatever they want – for fear of their lives.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) August 13, 2013