Inside Gaza

Gazan healthcare facilities have been strangled by an Israeli blockade since June 2007, when Hamas wrested control of Gaza from rival Fatah. Since Israel began its massive offensive against Hamas on December 27, 2008, conditions in Gaza's hospitals have faced extreme difficulty in their efforts to care for thousands of wounded civilians. Gaza's hospitals are overloaded and critically under-equipped, lacking bed space in intensive care units, as well as adequate stores of blood, antibiotics, and sterile surgical equipment. To make matter worse, ambulance crews attempting to deliver trauma cases to hospitals risk getting caught in the crossfire between the Israel Defense Force and Hamas.

Writer Elliott Woods and Photographer Asim Rafiqui report from inside Gaza documenting the effects of Israel's blockade and military operations on Gaza's medical infrastructure and on the daily realities of Gaza's residents. Woods and Rafiqui will document the efforts of doctors, nurses, and ambulance crews as they attempt to manage scores of trauma cases in dilapidated facilities. Through contacts in Gaza's mental health community, they will also explore the psychological ruin brought upon Gazan children by living under the blockade and by exposure to large-scale violence.

Zeitoun Becomes a Symbol

A month ago, when Abdel Al-Arkan looked out of his living room window, he saw groves of olive and orange trees stretching toward the Israeli border, their branches sagging with fruit.

Al-Arkan’s window is gone now, shattered by an Israeli air strike. The trees are gone, too, torn up by tank treads, replaced by fields of reddish dirt. When he peers through the shards, Al-Arkan, 31, sees the post-apocalyptic wreckage of his neighbors’ homes, reduced to tangled heaps of concrete and re-bar.

Rebuilding Gaza Beset by Hamas

Mohammad Awad was so happy when the lights came back on that he didn't want to go bed.

A trickle of electricity started flowing into Gaza City four days ago after Israel announced a unilateral cease-fire. Gazans such as Mr. Awad, 23, an engineering student, are relishing the whir of refrigerators and the distraction of television - conveniences they had to live without during three weeks of Israeli bombardment.

Gazans Weary of Hamas' Violent Policies

Ahmed Abu Arida, 41, was standing on the roof of his apartment building at 11:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve, watching Israeli jets pound the city around him.

"The explosions were very loud," Mr. Arida said, "but they seemed far away."

Then he heard screaming from the rooms below.

"Ahmed, Ahmed, Ahmed, I am here," he said, remembering the words of Iman Arida, 32, the mother of his seven children. "Those are the last words she ever spoke," he said.