Several thousand Palestinians, defying the urging of Hamas to remain in their homes, fled areas in northern Gaza early Sunday after Israel warned them through fliers and phone calls of major attacks to come. — New York Times
Thousands of Palestinians, heeding the warning pamphlets dropped by Israeli jets, are fleeing from Northern Gaza. Many are crowding inside United Nations-run schools. As the death toll rises – entirely on the Palestinian side – a potential cease-fire agreement developed by Egypt will be debated in the Israeli Parliament.
During prior Israeli invasions of Gaza, the toll on the infrastructure of the small region was significant. Israel intentionally targets infrastructure that it understands to support Hamas. Unfortunately, it is often civilians who are both the main casualties and who must suffer in a devastated, overpopulated urban area. And according to the Washington Post, in the recent attacks,"most of the Gazans killed so far have died in their homes."
The frequency and totality of Israeli attacks on Gaza – coupled with the ongoing economic blockade – leave little hope that their will be stability or normalcy for Gazans in the near future. Fundamentally, the devastated infrastructure alone precludes such hope.
It is in light of this ongoing conflict that the work of groups like the Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR) feels more urgent and relevant – albeit perhaps more difficult to imagine outside of the realm of speculation. Their work seeks to ask: "What will happen to the houses left behind when Palestinians take over Israeli settlements in the West Bank?" We featured an exhibition on Decolonizing Architecture several years ago here.