The ongoing human-rights violations in the occupied territories of the West Bank have spawned a new genre of “citizen journalism,” wherein residents exploit technology to document and combat social injustice. Palestinians are now employing digital cameras to record footage of attacks on them by Jewish settlers, which is then used as evidence when filing police reports, according to a recent New York Times story.
Palestinians in Hebron endure daily harassment and invasion by soldiers. Some Palestinian families, like the Nawajaa family featured in The New York Times story, prefer to live in encampments in order to stay close to their lands and protect them. To do so, many of these people live their lives as in days of yore, dwelling in caves lacking electricity, and supporting themselves through farming and the breeding of livestock. Last month, Muna Nawajaa filmed an episode during which three Jewish settlers, faces covered and clubs in hand, approached and struck members of her family in South Hebron. Broadcast around the world, the captured images are the result of a recent West-Bank distribution of digital cameras by the Israeli human-rights group, B’Tselem.
The cameras, part of a campaign called Project Shooting Back, are the organization’s latest efforts to educate both the Israeli and international communities about the continual abuses taking place within the territories. Focusing on Palestinian families that live close to military bases, and exposing the ugly reality of these places in contrast to the nearby Israeli settlements, the project also aims to develop a human-rights culture within Israel.
Copyright © 2008 AL JADID MAGAZINE