If we asked you to think of Gaza the first thoughts to enter your mind might be those we see regularly in the media and in pro-Palestinian propaganda; destruction, poverty and death.

These images have been forced upon us in abundance in recent years, and while there is some truth regarding poor conditions in Gaza, it is not true that this is all there is to Gaza; in fact, the images we are not being shown purposely hide the truth.

The reality shows a growing middle class in Gaza and there is even some luxury.

Hamas, the terrorist organisation that rules Gaza, is keen to draw sympathy from the world and it achieves this by saying the Palestinian people are oppressed by Israel. To its own citizens, however, they promote themselves as successful, powerful and wealthy, showing that “the Zionists” can never oppress them.

In their latest propaganda video to their own people, Hamas shows a different side of Gaza than we have been able to see before. This time, they are showing that “despite the occupation” Gaza is thriving.

It is important to point out here that we do not think it is wrong for Gaza to have areas of wealth or luxury. We want the Palestinian people to live successful lives in peace with their neighbours.

Despite this the media is keen to paint the picture that Gaza is a poverty stricken “open air prison” who’s people know nothing but misery. And they accomplish this by showing only pictures of Gaza that display its poverty and destruction.

In addition, they only depict Israel as an oppressive military regime and they achieve this by only showing pictures of IDF soldiers and military vehicles when referring to Israel.

This is a deliberate manipulation of the facts to shape public opinion to be negative to Israel.