I arrived in Gaza during the last days of Israel's Operation Cast Lead—launched on December 27, 2008, the last day of Hanukkah. On previous trips to Gaza, I had documented my fair share of funerals, burials, mourning families, people salvaging belongings from the ruins of their homes. And always the ensuing Hamas marches, the masked gunmen, the shouts of anger. Though the scale of this Israeli incursion was larger than any I could remember, when I again found myself crossing the border, the circumstances felt all too familiar, and I carried with me the fear that there was nothing new I could document.
Gaza, after all, has been consistently and extensively photographed for decades. There are dozens of talented and professional Palestinian photographers who work with scores of agencies, bringing the experience of the region to the world. In addition, some of the most talented international photojournalists have made Gaza the focus of their work. This is the challenge of coming to Gaza: how to shed new light on one of the world's most thoroughly photographed human tragedies?