Gaza, Tel Aviv, Gaza a new short film produced by Israeli filmmaker Itamar Rose in cooperation with Israeli NGO Gisha, captures Israel’s policy of separation between the West Bank and Gaza Strip by applying it to the streets of Tel Aviv.
The official description for the film is as follows:
Although the Gaza Strip is only about 50 kilometers from the city of Hebron in the West Bank, few people are given permission to travel this short distance. One Israeli filmmaker decided to bring Gaza’s separation policy to the heart of the Israeli mainstream.
In the film we see a situation that for many Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank is a regular occurrence: being stopped at a checkpoint. The specific checkpoint portrayed in the film is Erez Crossing which is the only pathway for Palestinians in Gaza/West Bank to travel to and from these territories and the film depicts a scene in which a young Palestinian girl attempts to convince IDF soldiers to let her visit her sick grandmother in Ramallah.
Itamar Rose asks average Israelis to play the roles of IDF soldiers working at Erez Crossing, putting them in the awkward position of refusing a young girl from visiting her grandmother.
But more than that; this week’s Israeli court ruling that rejected Nader al-Masri’s request – Gaza’s only Olympic runner – to travel to Bethlehem in the West Bank in order to take part in the annual Palestine Marathon. The irony of the situation is the fact that the Palestine Marathon is actually meant to celebrate freedom of movement.
Israel’s “separation policy” dictates that no one from Gaza is allowed to travel to the West Bank unless the reason for travel is for humanitarian or medical purposes. This runs parallel with Israel’s documented aims of pursuing a policy that regards the West Bank and Gaza are two completely separate political entities. This means that very few people are actually able to travel between Gaza and the West Bank and in practice only select medical patients and others with special permits are usually allowed to cross. Nirit Ben-Ari, a spokesperson for Gisha, the NGO that helped produce the short film, said:
“This policy is aimed against civilian population and against people who have nothing to do with Israel’s security concerns. It hurts family ties, and harms any future possibility to develop commerce, education and economical life in the Palestinian society. Those policies should raise concerns regarding the intentions of the Israel government in Gaza.”
Ultimately, the film helps put into question Israel’s separation policy and it’s genuine purposes.
SOURCE: IDF Document: “Policy Principle”