Palestinian bloggers: Voices exposing Israeli war crimes against humanity in Gaza to the world

Farah Samir, Friday 3 Nov 2023

Palestinian bloggers in the under-bombardment Gaza Strip have been struggling to report on the deteriorating human situation in Gaza as Israel repeatedly cuts off the internet and all telecommunications in the strip, but they have persevered in reaching the outside world.

Bloggers

 

Despite all, Palestinian bloggers continue to post news and photos depicting the gruesome impact of the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza on 2.3 million Palestinians in the strip, who are facing near-starvation conditions due to a water-food-fuel blockade imposed by Israel on the strip since 7 October.

On Wednesday, Paltel, the Palestinian telecommunications company, reported a total outage of internet and mobile phone services in Gaza, following a series of Israeli airstrikes that demolished apartment buildings near Gaza City.

This was the second reported complete blackout in Gaza in five days.

Amid a catastrophic humanitarian situation, with thousands being killed and thousands more wounded by airstrikes, blackouts make it nearly impossible for bloggers to report on the events taking place inside Gaza.

Still, experienced bloggers - and first-time bloggers - continue attempting to send texts and photos to the world on social media platforms.

Plestia Alaqad (byplestia on Instagram), a 22-year-old journalist who was previously employed at a marketing agency, is one of those bloggers who are reaching the outside world via Instagram.

Following the first blackout on 29 October, Plestia, who has 2.1 million followers, wrote: "If the place you are in is bombed, you can't reach the ambulance or contact anyone. During the night and because of the darkness, no one can see, and no one knows what's happening." 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by blinx (@blinxnow)

She added: "Throughout the 24 hours, we hear the sound of bombing, but we don't know its location or what's happening. As far as I know, within the last 24 hours, 70 people were killed in my area."

Another blogger, Bisan (wizard_bisan1), who was previously known for sharing light-hearted educational videos on Gaza, became a defacto war-zone correspondent during the current war.

She began posting video updates on her Instagram account on 10 October a few days after the  Israeli war on Gaza started.

Bisan's blog is reaching one million followers.

In a video posted on Thursday, she explains the tragic situation faced by the medical system in Gaza in the current situation.

Bisan updates the world on the number of hospitals that go out of service due to lack of fuel or medical supplies; damaged hospitals, killed medical staff, and destroyed ambulances. 

In earlier posts, Bisan addressed the situation during the blackout on 29 October, saying: "No one can know anything about Gaza, there are no clues, there are no witnesses, there are no journalists, there are no photos. There is no news about the crimes they are committing in Gaza now."

She added: "They are using new weapons on us, they are committing more and more crimes in the dark so no one can notice anything."

Two months ago, prior to the war on Gaza, another well-known blogger Moataz Azaiza (moataz_aziza), a photographer from Gaza, fixed his camera on the sea, seeking the perfect sunset, and expressed, "I only take beautiful pictures of Gaza."    

However, over the last three weeks, Moataz's camera documented more massacres than anyone could have imagined in a lifetime.

One Palestinian human rights activist emphasized, "He had enough... We had enough."

Moataz writes to his more than 12 million followers.  

In one of his most recent videos, Moataz, accompanied by Plestia Alaqad, demands a ceasefire.

"It's day 25 and the genocide is still going on. All that we demand is a ceasefire, we want this nightmare to end," he writes.

Saleh Aljafrawi (saleh_aljafara), a former singer, used to simply share his music videos on Instagram before it all started.

However, since 7 October, Saleh began posting video updates to his now 2.3 million followers on the Israeli war on Gaza.

On 29  October, he shared a video showcasing what happened on the night of the first blackout.

"We did not expect that a day would come with the difficulty and cruelty we experienced that night," Saleh wrote as he described one of the massacres committed by the Israeli army and shared horrifying images of victims and human suffering in Gaza.

Ali Jadallah (alijadallah66), an award-winning photographer in Gaza, captured images to depict the events in Gaza.

One of his photos on his platform has received over 100,000 likes. 

Jadallah currently has 1.2 million followers.

 

Ali also captured the heavy bombing during the blackout in a video, stating: "We are disconnected from the internet and calls. There is a complete blackout. Explosions do not stop." 

Ahmed Hijazi (ahmedhijazee), a video creator from Gaza, shared his personal experience on 28 October and described the last blackout, saying: "Imagine that I am in Gaza and that my family is also in Gaza. But I don't know anything about them, nor am I able to communicate with them."

The ongoing telecommunications blackout in Gaza hampers the efforts of these bloggers to expose the atrocities perpetrated by Israel in Gaza.

As we follow the posts of these bloggers, we worry about these voices when they disappear for a few days or even a few hours from social media platforms.

For example, a 15-year-old aspiring journalist named Abod (abod_bt77) began sharing video updates on his Instagram account as the war began on 7 October.

He has gained over a million followers on Instagram since.

Abod posted on 29 October before disappearing for four days.

He returned on Thursday reassuring his social media followers that he was okay. 

Over the last three weeks, Palestinian bloggers in Gaza have reached millions of viewers and gained thousands of followers around the world.

They have become a voice for humanity -  the voices of the Palestinian people under-bombardment and starvation.

The global response has been overwhelmingly supportive - with many hailing these bloggers as heroes for risking their lives daily to deliver the truth to the world.  

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