At a Gaza beachfront skatepark, Palestinian youngsters on skateboards and rollerblades zip around curves and jump over concrete obstacles to the delight of onlookers.
Calling themselves the “Gaza skate team”, a group of about 20 youths hold weekly training sessions overseen by two coaches, who watch videos on the internet to improve their skating skills, Reuters reported.
Skating equipment is hard to come by in Gaza, where poverty runs deep and Israel maintains tight restrictions along the border.
“We tour the markets looking for second-hand stuff. We collect it and we make it fit for play,” said Mohammed al-Sawalhe, one of the coaches.
“I try to change their thinking and turn it from thinking about the blockade, borders, and death, to thinking about sport,” he said about the skaters.
The World Bank says the blockade has reduced the territory, home to 2 million Palestinians, to a state of economic collapse.