2018 Primetime Emmy
& James Beard Award Winner

R&K Insider: The tragedy—and terror—in Gaza

Frustration, despair, and heightened risk: those are the common themes in conversations with friends and colleagues who have been covering the protests in Gaza and the West Bank.

This post originally appeared on May 18, 2018, in R&K’s weekly newsletter. Read the archives and subscribe to the newsletter.

***

Good morning, guys. It’s Cengiz again.

Earlier this week, I was on a call with one of my friends. She was sheltered inside a house in Gaza with a group of journalists. Her translator had been shot earlier that day, but when they took him to a clinic, it was packed with hundreds of people injured from bullets and tear gas fired by Israeli troops that day. So they brought him back home. Outside, it was a war zone.

“It’s insane. They’re dropping tear gas from drones,” she said over the crackling phone line.

Frustration, despair, and heightened risk: those are the common themes in conversations with friends and colleagues who have been covering the protests in Gaza and the West Bank. Medical facilities are over capacity, the Israeli snipers are shooting indiscriminately, and this week, Israelis have been dropping tear gas from the sky. One journalist who has covered wars around the world told me it was so dangerous that they weren’t able to cover any other place besides the clinic.

If you’ve followed the news this week, it’d be hard to miss the images from the Middle East. Less than 60 miles from Gaza, where a humanitarian catastrophe was unfolding, Ivanka Trump, President Trump’s daughter, unveiled the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem. The imagery of her smiling face in a sweeping tan dress stood in sharp contrast to images of crying, wounded Palestinians carrying their dead through falling tear gas canisters and burning tires.

This week on R&K Instagram, we’ve taken a break from general photography features and invited awarding-winning photographer Gianluca Panella to take over our feed. Panella has lived and worked in Israel for years and spent the past few months documenting these demonstrations in Gaza. His imagery offers a stark and uncompromising look at Gaza, and we hope you’ll follow along with him this week.

We also recommend following other photographers working on this story, like Laurence Geai, Paul Hansen, and Marcus Yam, whose images from the strip are intimate and heart-wrenching.

Over at R&K, we have published an interview with photographer Alexandra Rose Howland, whose exhibition of photography from Mosul opens next week in London. We also take you into the world of rattlesnakes—through these stunning photographs by Cooper Neill—where residents of Sweetwater, Texas hunt, butcher, and sell the reptile in an annual festival that is both loved and loathed.

This week, our sister-site Explore Parts Unknown published a deep dive into Armenia, where last month mass protests led by a former journalist helped topple the country’s government. We invite you to explore Yerevan, the capital, as well as the isolated—and disputed—territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.

We’ll see you here next week.

— Cengiz

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