Film highlights daily realities of Israeli occupation | Gaza

After 50 years of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and a decade of the blockade on Gaza, a new documentary tells the powerful stories of Palestinians living with these daily realities.

Award-winning producer and director John McColgan documented his journey through Palestine with Trocaire, an Irish human rights charity. This is Palestine aims to “raise awareness of the human rights abuses that have been happening and are still happening in the West Bank and Gaza”, McColgan told Al Jazeera, noting that he hopes his film will help to pressure the Irish government to recognise Palestine and encourage a peace process.

Many Palestinians in the occupied West Bank – especially those living in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control – live in constant fear of having their homes and communities demolished.

READ MORE: 1967 war – How Israel occupied the whole of Palestine

The documentary sheds light on life in Hebron, whose old city is under Israeli control. A military order closed all shops and businesses, and the daily life of the remaining Palestinian residents is made difficult through checkpoints, military raids and harassment by Israeli settlers.

“I had done research in advance, but nothing prepares you for what you witness on the ground,” McColgan said. “I found Hebron’s deserted old town an extraordinary encounter. I had never seen anything like it.”

In Gaza, many Palestinians have lost family members to bombing raids and the 2014 war. The documentary allows them to describe their experiences, providing personal perspectives to give context to the larger picture of Israeli domination and control over Palestinian lives.

The film attempts “to tell the story as honestly and balanced as possible within the context of the situation”, McColgan said. The idea was born out of an art exhibition with the same name, in which McColgan and his brother photographed Palestinians living under occupation.


The film shows what Palestinians endure while living…

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