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Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  302 ratings  ·  25 reviews
In 1993, Amira Hass, a young Israeli reporter, drove to Gaza to cover a story-and stayed, the first journalist to live in the grim Palestinian enclave so feared and despised by most Israelis that, in the local idiom, "Go to Gaza" is another way to say "Go to hell." Now, in a work of calm power and painful clarity, Hass reflects on what she has seen in the Gaza Strips's ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published September 5th 2000 by St. Martins Press-3PL (first published 1999)
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Sep 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
If anyone has any doubt that Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank is anything short of colonialism, they should read this book. Amira Hass writes a scathing critique of Israel’s domination and cruel treatment of Palestinians in Gaza after the Oslo Accords and convincingly explains why they would never bring peace this way. Surely, Amira Hass would be very lovingly called by the Western press as an enemy of peace, but they need to know this story to understand that any peace negotiations ...more
Jul 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-non-fiction
If you read just one book about the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, this is the one to read.

Amira Hass is a rarely sensitive and gutsy journalist who reports for Ha'aretz newspaper from Gaza. She is one of the very few Israeli journalists who knows Arabic and lives among Palestinians. This account is balanced, personalized and devastating.
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Very well-written and very informative. Amira Hass writes a critique of Israel's domination and brutal treatment of the Palestinian people in Gaza. If you have any doubt that Israel's occupation of Gaza and the West Bank is nothing short of colonization, read this book.
Alastair Rosie
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
"The Middle East conflict has been raging off and on since 1948, that much we know but until now the news reports and books for the most part have been slanted in favour of US and Israeli policy and as we all know, if you go against popular opinion and the mainstream press, you risk censure and ridicule. If you dared criticise Israel you were accused of anti-Semitisim or maybe neo Nazi sympathies, these days you'd be accused of being a secret Al Qaeda supporter.
Enter Amira Hass, an Israeli
Jul 31, 2011 added it
This is a fascinating and depressing journey inside Gaza- don't listen to a thousand diplomats and officials who get whirlwind tours where they are shown only a fraction, when you can read the book of a foreigner who lived there, and saw its daily ins and outs. She does a very thorough job of focusing in on the things that go beneath the numbers to demonstrate the humanity that lies beneath them. One starts to understand how suffocating the closures of the Erez checkpoint really are for the ...more
May 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A journalist and a painfully honest woman, Amira Hass provides a detailed account of the deception and violence committed by both the Palestinian and Israeli leadership, in an effort to maintain power over their respective constituencies. In effect, both sides try to distance their followers from the everyday human rights violations and myopic strategies which endanger their futures. Using politics, religion and, in the case of Israel, hystsrical exaggeration, neither side acknowledges the ...more
Dec 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
By far the best book i have read so far on the israeli-palestine conflict. Hass' work is rare because as both an Israeli, communist and critic of Israeli policies she also dares to properly discuss the issues inside Palestinian society. She is brutally honest in her criticism of the occupation (the lockdowns, the checkpoint policies, the enforced poverty and unemployment on Gaza, the torture in prisons, the unjust imprisonments etc.) and that of the Palestinian leadership under Arafat (its ...more
David Wen
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Started this book purely based off curiosity. Never read much about the Israeli Palestinian conflict but this book provided a great overview of the conflict. Although the coverage could be seen as biased, I'm not sure the events as described can really be seen any other way. The only reason it wasn't rated 5 stars was due to the names and events. Coming from someone unfamiliar with the situation and players involved it has hard to follow at times. In any case, great book.
Ayelet Waldman
This was the highlight of my reading months. I mean, it was an amazing book, and it made me weep. Over and over again. Every single American Jew should read this book. Read it, and then argue to me that the Occupied Territories should remain in Israel's hands.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dated, but not really. A good look inside of Gaza and how the occupation affected lives.....and to some extent how the current blockade and controls by Israel affect lives. Highly one can see the other side of the story.
Ross Ritchell
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An incredibly powerful and important eye-opener to possibly the most misunderstood conflict in the world. In-depth insights from economic policies and political ramifications that strangle the Palestinian population. Important for all to read.
Jun 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insights into Palestine/Israel, written by a Jewish Israeli journalist, one of a very few who has gone into Palestine extensively and lived there (as I recall.) Excellent writing.
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is a very good account of the author's experience. It gives a good insight in how people leave in Gaza and their prospective about the conflict.
Sally Dark
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Even though this book was written around 20 years ago, it is still relevant to the situation in Gaza and the West Bank, which of course remains at a deadly stalemate. Written by an Israeli journalist, it details the historical process that took place following the influx of Jewish emmigrants in 1948/1949, both from a political and personal point of view. The detail is staggering, and Hass has access to all kinds of politicians and normal Gazans, relaying their stories and points of view in an ...more
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The book is dated, and was published over 20 years ago. The subject of of the enclosure of Gaza by Israel is still ongoing. Amira Hass is Jewish and Israeli journalist, and she wrote this book with the Palestinian perspective. Her concerns come across as insightful and sincere. There is no reason to think that the Gaza de facto occupation will end soon, or that the misery of most of its citizens will diminish.
Nov 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own-this-book
this is a moving, well-researched and eloquent book ever to be written on issues currently taking place in is informative, absorbing and most important is that the author makes one realize the human aspect of the Palestine plight...
Jennifer Abdo
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a go to recommendation for me for a long time. It was one of the first I'd read from the Israeli left, so it was refreshing to hear her acknowledge the facts and wrongs suffered by Palestinians. That is a must in the quest for peace.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Skim-read. Feels just a little bit dated (it was published in 1996, so yeah, 23 years old). A very good look inside Gaza and how the occupation affected (continues to affect?) lives. Some of the testimonies and personal accounts recounted by Hass were extremely moving.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Honestly, I didn't actually finish this book. It was super interesting and I learned some new background information about the conflict, but I just can't seem to actually finish it and it's starting to hold me up. It's amazing how quickly so much of this information can be considered outdated.
Bonnie Jeanne
Jan 25, 2009 marked it as to-read
Drinking the Sea at Gaza: Days and Nights in a Land Under Siege by Amira Hass (2000)
Jan 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: m-e
I found this a very interesting book, however had trouble getting stuck into it. I didn't end up finishing it, although I would like to one day.
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I think everyone should read this and understand who is really getting hurt in Gaza.
Laura Kaufmann
Jan 29, 2010 rated it liked it
It's eye-opening and has some good stories, but a little dull. Books about Gaza should not be dull.
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Interesting thoughtful book from a perspective that we will probably never see again.
Jen Shoemaker
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Jan 15, 2008
Anneke de Bundel
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Nov 17, 2012
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Nov 21, 2012
Steven Fake
rated it it was amazing
Sep 01, 2015
Muh S
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Nov 14, 2015
Daniel Kahan
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Jan 19, 2017
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She is a prominent left-wing Israeli journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper Ha'aretz. She is particularly recognized for her reporting on Palestinian affairs in the West Bank and Gaza, where she has also lived for a number of years.

Amira is the daughter of two Holocaust survivors , she was educated at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she studied the