PNS Daily Newscast - August 21, 2019 

The Trump administration weakens banking regulations; and events this weekend mark the 400th anniversary of slavery in the United States. (Broadcaster Note: Our 6-min. newscast now has an optional outcue at 3 minutes: “This is PNS.”)

Daily Newscasts

MA Aid Group Works in Aftermath of Gaza Takeover

July 2, 2007

A Massachusetts aid group is one of few with access to Gaza City after its violent takeover more than two weeks ago. Hamas took control of the city from rival Palestinian faction Fatah in a bloody five-day battle that killed approximately 100 people. David Holdridge, Middle East regional director from Mercy Corps, checked on the situation there last week. He's now in Jerusalem, and reports that the violent street-fighting is nearly stopped, and people are no longer trapped in their apartments.

“There's lots of kids swimming; there's people out shopping;and, there's traffic. So that part is a reflection in fact that there is a calm.”

Now the fighting is between Israel and Hamas, which Holdridge says is less chaotic and more predictable. But he adds that the situation is far from optimistic. There is little economic activity and the 1.4 million people there feel more imprisoned than ever.

Holdridge was in Gaza last Wednesday, the bloodiest day since the Hamas takeover, when attacks from Israel killed eleven people. Holdridge notes that violence like that is unfortunately so common, it doesn't even dominate conversation between civilians in the city.

“It's not normal, of course, if you're one of the families that's directly affected by this, but it's become so frequent, that it's not extraordinary.”

Holdridge has worked in the Middle East since 1981. He says in the past few years he's noticed a trend of violence spreading from Gaza more quickly than it used to.

“What happens there very quickly resonates, and often triggers responses, particularly in Lebanon, Syria, to some extent in Iraq, and in Jordan.”

Kevin Clay/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MA