GAZA STRIP - Following a recent visit to the Gaza Strip, Egyptian journalist Ashraf Abu al-Houl described the "sense of absolute prosperity" he experienced during his stay in Egypt's Arabic-language newspaper al-Ahram.
"I was last in Gaza in mid-February. Returning there three weeks ago, I found it almost unrecognizable…and the greatest surprise was the nature of that change," al-Houl wrote.
"I would have expected a change for the worse, considering the blockade, but the opposite was the case. It seemed as if it had emerged from the blockade," he wrote.
"A sense of absolute prosperity prevails, as manifested by the grand resorts along and near Gaza's coast. Further, the sight of the merchandise and luxuries filling the Gaza shops amazed me," al-Houl wrote.
MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute) translated the article in full, along with excerpts a report in the Palestinian Authority's al-Hayat al-Jadida and the Palestinian website Firas Press.
Click here to read the full report.
While their perspective is clearly not "pro-Israel," the eyewitness accounts affirm that Gaza is not "under siege."