Coastal enclave. Terrorist state. Open-air prison. The Gaza Strip has become synonymous with conflict and despair. Wedged between Israel’s Negev and Egypt’s Sinai deserts on one side and the Mediterranean Sea on the other, Gaza became the incubator for secular Palestinian nationalism following the creation of Israel in 1948. Overwhelmed by refugees, Gaza arose as the birthplace of militant Palestinian Islamism as the Israeli occupation became more entrenched after 1967.
These photographs contrast Gaza’s picturesque coastline with a land and people under a chronic state of siege and destruction, caught between arch adversaries Hamas and the Israeli military. Amid the waves of violence live a people resigned to their fate, suffering yet enduring.