A shopping mall in a comparatively wealthy section of Gaza City.(Katie Orlinsky for the New York Times)

With Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly opposed to ending the blockade; with the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs affirming the group’s support for an end to the Gaza blockade; and with Prime Minister Netanyahu pledging to keep the blockade; maybe we should take a slightly closer look at said blockade and the territory it operates on, hmm?

An interesting article and an interesting photo-essay from yesterday agree: The situation in Gaza is … odd. It’s quite bad for most of its densely packed-in residents; it’s also arguably bad for Israel to the extent that Hamas’s power is reinforced by the misery. But the reality on the ground is complex.

“Although it’s true that there is no hunger and there are no epidemics,” writes the Los Angeles Times’s Edmund Sanders, “the situation in Gaza defies usual categorization.”

Adds New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Ethan Bronner, in a short essay that accompanies Katie Orlinsky’s photos, “for nearly everyone who visits Gaza, often with worry of danger and hostility, what’s surprising is the fact that daily life, while troubled, often has the staggering quality of the very ordinary.”

None of which is to minimize the decidedly un-complex suffering of many Gazans, nor the decidedly un-complex problems that a territory run by Hamas on the border presents to Israel. Just a couple extra looks, is all. The photo-essay is worth a look.

Daily Life in Gaza [NYT]
Gaza, Through Fresh Eyes [NYT]
Gaza Plight a Crisis With a Difference [LAT]
Ending Gaza’s Dangerous Isolation [NYT]
Netanyahu: Naval Blockade on Gaza Will Not Be Lifted [Haaretz]
Abbas to Obama: I’m Against Lifting the Naval Blockade [Haaretz]