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Israel-Gaza Conflict

Palestinian rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip,  a territory of 1.7 million people, has been hitting targets in Israel since 2001. In the past few months, the rate of rocket attacks has once again shot up. Israeli air raids have been pounding targets in Gaza in order to stop the Hamas shooting rockets to Israel and cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which last week came under rocket fire for the first time since 1970. The Israeli attacks target Hamas, which is the Islamic ruling party of Gaza, and have already destroyed their headquarters and assassinated top Hamas military commander Ahmad Jabari. Hamas has been classified as a terror organization by the US, the EU, Canada and Japan.

The Israel-Gaza conflict is an ongoing dispute, which militarily escalated after the Islamic political party Hamas was elected to government in 2005. In 2007, Hamas fought an won an internal battle against Fatah over the rule of Gaza; Gaza is now governed by Hamas while West Bank is run by Fatah. Over the years the West Bank region has seen more robust economic and social development and has aimed at more peaceful co-existence with Israel.

But as always in conflicts, civilians are the ones that have to suffer most. Gaza health officials say that at least 23 children and several women have been killed since the start of the attacks, while the total death toll stands over 100 people. In Israel, deaths have been more limited as Hamas' rockets have been for the large part intercepted by modern technology such as the Iron Dome defense system. On Wednesday morning, a bomb exploded in a bus near Tel Aviv, injuring at least fifteen people.

Up to 75 000 Israeli army reservists have been called up, signaling a possibility for using ground forces in connection with the air raids, a possibility that was postponed at least until Wednesday. International diplomatic efforts are underway to secure a cease-fire, including negotiations between the Israeli government and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Mr. Westerwelle that Israel would not hesitate taking broader action if the rocket fire from Gaza continued. At this critical time the Cinema for Peace Foundation wants to highlight several films on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

WATCH THE CINEMA FOR PEACE TRAILER OF THE WEEK:

  • The Heart of Jenin by Leon Geller & Marcus Vetter, Cinema for Peace Winner 2009, is the story of Ahmed Khatib, a Palestinian boy shot by Israeli soldiers. His father decides to donate his son's organs to Israeli children as a gesture of peace.
  • Budrus by Julia Bacha, Cinema for Peace Nominee 2011, follows a Palestinian leader who unites Fatah, Hamas and Israelis in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction. Success eludes them until his 15-year-old daughter jumps into the fray.
  • Miral by Julian Schnabel is a drama centered on an orphaned Palestinian girl growing up in the wake of Arab-Israeli war who finds herself drawn into the conflict.
  • Lemon Tree by Eran Riklis, The story of a Palestinian widow who must defend her lemontree field when a new neighbor threatens to have her lemon grove torn down.
  • Promises by Carlos Bolado, B.Z. Goldberg and Justine Shapiro follows several Jewish and Palestinian children are for three years and put in touch with each other, in this alternative look at the Jewish-Palestinian conflict. The three filmmakers followed a group of seven local children between 1995 and 1998. They all have a totally different background. These seven children tell their own story about growing up in Jerusalem.


WATCH THE CINEMA FOR PEACE TRAILER OF THE DAY: