On Tuesday, 26 May 2015, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights launched media package on the impacts on children and women of the Israeli military assault on Gaza during the summer of 2014. The package is entitled “51… Aggression against Gaza”. The event was held at the Roots Hotel. The package comprised of two documentary films and two booklets. A number of families of the victims of serious violations of international law committed by the Israeli forces attended the event, along with about 200 persons from civil society organizations, the media and academics.
Al Mezan’s director, Mr. Issam Younis, and Mr. Khalil Abu Shamala, chair of Palestinian NGO Network in Gaza, and Mrs Shirin Al Shobaki, coordinator of training and mass communication unit at Al Mezan opened the meeting by welcoming the attendees.
Mr. Younis spoke about the work and cooperation of human rights organizations to document the violations of international law against the population in Gaza and the legal interventions underway at the domestic and international fronts. He asserted that the Israeli forces committed war crimes in its latest aggression on the Gaza Strip, particularly against civilians who are protected under international humanitarian law. He expressed the hope that the fruitful cooperation among Palestinian human rights organizations would continue and bear positive results in the pursuit of ending occupation and secure protection and redress for the for the population.
Mr. Khalil Abu Shamala thanked Al Mezan for organizing the event. He highlighted the need to shed more the light on the Israeli violations. He praised the continuous cooperation among Palestinian human rights organizations in documenting these violations in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Mrs. Shirin Al Shobaki thanked the guests and the families of the victims for their cooperation with Al Mezan in producing these materials. She explained that the package consisted of two booklets and two films. One booklet and a film focused on violations against children. A booklet, entitled “51… In Children Eyes”, consists of 15 stories about children experience during the Israeli assault and their experiences of loss of family and displacement. A first film on children in the conflict was screened in the event. It was entitled "The Beach" and presents the story of four children who were killed in an Israeli attack on them on Gaza City's beach as they were playing. The four children are from the Bakr family. The film presents interviews with the surviving children with real time footage about the attack.
The second booklet consists of 23 narratives provided by women and their experiences of being at the end of serious violations of international law that caused death, loss of property and suffering during the same assault last summer. This booklet is titled “167… In Women Eyes”; 167 being the number of individuals killed in the incidents described in the narratives of the 23 women presented in the booklet. A second film was also screened featuring various Israeli attacks on civilians. It was entitled “Remains of Photos” and it presents women describing how they experienced various armed attacks that hit civilians and the way women experienced them, and their memories of the lost family members.
Following the screening of the two films, the event was concluded by a Q&A with Al Mezan's director. Participants introduced many questions and came up with recommendations, which revolved around the need to produce multimedia materials to show the serious violations committed against civilians, keep the memory of the society in Gaza alive, and spread awareness about the situation in Gaza internationally.
To access the booklet about children, please visit: http://mezan.org/en/post/20256
To access “The Beach” (English subtitles), please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNGH8AgixNg
To access “Remains of Photos” (English subtitles), please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_n4ztLWBZo