A crowd of onlookers has gathered around the oily black tarmac recently being laid down in a section of downtown Gaza City. Gaza's potholed streets are finally getting a makeover, and infrastructure upgrades like this new road are still a novelty for residents.
The overseer of the project says that before, Gaza couldn't get enough material to fix the road. But now, everyone is building.
Palestinian artist Mohammed al-Dairi paints a mural of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (right) and late Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (left), in Gaza City. Hamas leaders are divided on what direction to take the Islamist movement, with some calling for reconciliation with Arafat's Fatah movement.
The Islamist movement Hamas, which rules Gaza, is a house divided. Its leaders say there are divisions among the ranks as they try to grapple with where to push the movement: toward moderation or a continued commitment to armed resistance against Israel.
Omar Shaban, a Gaza-based political analyst, wonders where Hamas is headed in the next two to three years. He says the changes in the region after the Arab Spring not only shook the world, but they also forced groups like Hamas to reassess where they stand, in terms of old alliances and future direction.
The Israeli military says its Iron Dome system has been extremely effective against Palestinian rockets coming out of the Gaza Strip. Here, an Israeli missile is launched Monday near the city of Ashdod in response to a Palestinian rocket.
In the Gaza Strip on Monday, Palestinian families mourned their dead.
Those killed included a 65-year-old farmer who was watering his tomatoes and checking on his greenhouses, his 35-year-old daughter, and a 15-year-old boy.
Israel says Palestinian militants were hiding among the local population and firing rockets from northern Gaza into southern Israel. Palestinians in one Gaza community told NPR that militants had been operating in the area but said the civilians were innocent.
Hamas' Deputy Foreign Minister Ghazi Hamad told NPR's Robert Siegel that the Islamic political party has accepted a two-state solution that respects the 1967 borders.
Robert asked Hamad in a very straight forward way: "If Israel were to accept a two-state solution in which Palestine would be in Gaza and the West Bank and have its capital in Jerusalem, is that an acceptable aim that Hamas is striving for or is that in and of itself insufficient because there would still be a state of Israel?"