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Magnified grievances

Watching the Danish cartoon saga unfold in the Palestinian territories, it became clear that the media and politicians were ironing out the subtleties and subtexts of the story

By Gideon Lichfield   March 2006

At the beginning of February I spent two days in Gaza. People were still recovering from the shock—for some happy, for others terrifying—of the Hamas election victory. At a housing estate on the outskirts of Beit Hanoun, a town in the north of the strip, I and the small band of journalists I was hanging out with met a group of squatters.

Back in England, the word “squatters” is associated in most people’s minds with loose and penniless confederations of pot-smoking layabouts who move into and take over unused property. This is often a deeply unfair depiction, but even the…

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