On Monday, 20 November 2017, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights held a screening of the film “Closure”, which highlights Palestinian life under half a century of occupation and ten years of blockade and closure of the Gaza Strip. The event was held at the Roots Hotel in Gaza City and was attended by over 150 dignitaries, including human rights defenders, civil society leaders, journalists, farmers, fishermen and representatives of agricultural and fishery associations, families of victims, and local community leaders.
Ms. Shirin Al Shobaki, the Coordinator of Al Mezan’s Training and Mass Communication Unit, relayed Al Mezan’s gratitude to the people who are featured in the film: Mr. Majed Baker, the fisherman who lost his son at work; Mr. Salem Abu Haddaf, who lost his farmlands after numerous attacks by the Israeli forces; and Ms. Nasiba Al Rayyes, a woman from Gaza, who married in Jerusalem and has not seen her family in 20 years due to Israel’s rigid restrictions on movement. These testimonials tell the stories of people whose lives have been permanently changed by Israeli policies, like so many others in Gaza.
In his opening statement, Mr. Issam Younis, General Director of Al Mezan, noted that the film reflects the absence of commitment by the international community to address Israel’s continued violations of international law. Mr. Younis spoke about impunity, which has allowed the collective punishment in Gaza—a clear manifestation of the closure policy—to continue. Reflecting on the recent progress in Palestinian reconciliation efforts, Al Mezan’s director said that, “reconciliation must be built on a genuine commitment to reform the political system. The division reflects a schism between Hamas and Fatah and one within the Palestinian people. Procedures must therefore be put in place to hold every actor to account and ensure that all parties are committed to resolving their differences and implementing the premise of the reconciliation agreement.”
Al Mezan recognized the contributions of Mr. Shawan Jabarin, General Director of Al-Haq, and journalist, Ms. Amira Hass, whose perspectives brought depth and historical detail to the film.
One of the main messages relayed by the audience during the discussion of the film, was that “Closure” should be screened abroad in order to increase the pressure on responsible actors to end impunity and bring justice to the victims of international law violations in occupied Palestine.
“Closure” can be viewed here. The film is a production of Lama Film Group