Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Children of Gaza; a shocking look at lives laced with turmoil and terror

A mother asks her young daughter what she wishes for most and she answers "to die", to die? she asks, and her daughter replies solemnly, "Being martyred is better than having to live like this."

In a chilling Channel 4 documentary, Dispatches: Children of Gaza, the stories of youngsters living through the effects of conflict, loss and terror are told.

In December 2008, the Israeli Defence Force unleashed a campaign in Gaza to destroy the ability of Hamas to launch rockets and mortars into Israel.

BAFTA-winning film maker Jezza Neumann brings to the screen the shocking real-life accounts of the children whose lives and attitudes have been shaped by the blockade that the Isrealis have inflicted on Gaza.

The Isreali Defence Force aimed to remove terror groups from Gaza, particularly Hamas and Islamis Jihad, as they believed they posed a threat to Isreal.

The children of Gaza tell of their experiences in graphic detail and exact accounts, describing the killings of their families, the destruction of their homes and the brutality of the attackers. Blood-stained memories are replayed in an emotional representation of the unexplained destruction of a nation.

The conflicts in Gaza have spanned many years, bringing dismay and violence to the 1.5 million populated land-mass, which is only twenty by five miles in size.

While the attacks on the people of Gaza remain relatively unexplained, the affects upon its younger generation is something which needs little explanation.

Neumann shows in his documentary, a young boy promising to seek revenge on his dead fathers behalf. "Killing one Jew will be enough," he says. His uncle, a member of Hamas is to be seen showing his nephew taped footage of suicide bombings and teaching him how to handle a machine gun. The boy, once innocent and unknowing, decides that his fate lies with God. His mother showing gratitude and support for the future martyrdom of her young son. She says that it is an honour to die for Allah.

The troubled nation of Gaza may seek to house peace. The children seeking the answers to their questions of 'Why?'. They ask why the Jews have killed their brothers, their fathers and their mothers, why their homes were bulldozed whilst they were still in them and why the conflicts in their home-nation are even occurring: the answers as unbeknown to them as to their parents and grandparents.

The uniquely intimate look into the lives of these Palestinians is moving and disbelieving. The terror faced by these youngsters who have lost everything is trecherous. But the fear of what this future generation of avengers could do is even more thought-provoking.

While playing with guns and playing games of Muslims versus Jews may seem like a playground passtime, the result of such child's play could be much more sinister.

One young boy says: "The Jews leave our children to grow up fatherless, what do they expect?"

A chilling sentiment of a generation laced in fear, disarray and murder, a generation which could become Gaza's most violent yet. A wish to become a martyr may just be the tip of a society stained with the remnants of their tortured past.

To watch Jezza Neumann's documentary click here

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