Al Jazeera correspondent in Gaza, Nadim Baba recently did an AMA or Ask me anything session on Reddit to provide the world latest updates and on ground reality of the conflict that has killed 74 Palestinians and three Israeli civilians.
Finding this as a healthy opportunity to interact with the people in Gaza, many Redditors asked him questions that are reported by mainstream media.
Here are some high lights of the session:
The_Fragrant_Fart: ‘What are some of the things that has gone unreported or underemphasized in mainstream media?’
Nadim: ‘How politically aware and internationally-minded young Gazans (or Palestinians of Gaza if you prefer) are. It really saddens me to see how hard, if not impossible, it is for most to take advantage of chances to travel abroad to study or just to see the world. There is a high level of education here and given the poor chances of a well-paid job, it must be extremely frustrating to put it mildly.’
Another redditor named jifatal asked Nadim about the propaganda war initiated by Israel Defense Forces, ‘How does the Gaza population react to IDF messages and warnings with regards to staying away from Hamas? Is it even possible? We hear reports of Hamas using civilians as "human shields" - are these accurate to any extent?
Nadim answered: ‘I think the population is sceptical about any such warnings. It is very hard not to be "near Hamas". Hamas is the government. It runs the social services, the police, the schools, the refuse collection, etc., etc.. So staying away from Hamas does not mean much.
Having said that, people are wary of being near certain sites such as the Prime Minister's office, which has now been bombed. But if you happen to live near such sites, your options are not great .
lordhadri: ‘Does the aftermath of the "Arab Spring" change the calculus of how countries are responding to the most recent crisis? Especially regarding Egypt's change of government?’
Nadim responded, ‘Massively. I mean the Egyptian PM driving into Gaza the other day- that's the last thing Hosni Mubarak's government would have done. Does it mean a sudden change in dealing with Israel? Not sure. It does mean the new governments are being pushed to act by popular pressure.
And starting to react. Personally I think any financial help from these states is what people would welcome here in the first instance, along with diplomatic efforts to lift the embargo on Gaza.’
Many people appreciated Nadim’s initiative on starting a discussion that can help people gain insight information about the increasingly alarming situation taking place in Gaza.