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‘Kill Zone: Inside Gaza’ is a tribute to Palestinian courage and an indictment of genocidal Israel

June 4, 2024 at 6:12 pm

Smoke and flames rise over a destroyed building following the Israeli attacks on Al Bureij Camp in Deir al-Balah, Gaza on June 3, 2024 [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

The Channel 4 Dispatches documentary “Kill Zone: Inside Gaza” is a heart-wrenching, unfiltered look at the devastation inflicted upon Palestinian civilians, particularly women and children, in Israel’s relentless military offensive against the besieged Gaza Strip. The film, pieced together from footage captured by twelve courageous Palestinian journalists who risked their lives to document the onslaught, lays bare the human cost of what is the most intense bombing campaign yet this century. In fact, Over 36,000 Palestinians have been killed since 7 October, the overwhelming majority — 70 per cent — were women and children.

The scale of the death and destruction, and the sheer number of people wounded (80,000 and counting) is nothing that’s been seen before, says British reconstructive surgeon Dr Ghassan Abu-Sitta, who has witnessed the aftermath of violent conflicts worldwide, and treated the wounded in Gaza for 43 days. He left the enclave in late November and since his departure has given his first-hand testimony of the horror dealt out by Israeli bombs.

“Kill Zone…” is as harrowing as the title suggests and confirms every detail of the gruesome and murderous conduct of the Israeli army to have been reported since October. No one in Gaza is safe, not even babies seeking shelter in UN tents. The documentary takes on an even more sinister meaning in light of the +972 Magazine exposé that Israel has deployed a sophisticated AI system to generate targets for its relentless bombing campaign. This algorithmic approach to warfare has led to indiscriminate killings and an extraordinarily high civilian death toll.

Indeed, the human toll is catastrophic, with entire families wiped out and a generation of children left traumatised.

Doctors have had to coin a term for a new category of patients: WCNSF — “wounded child, no surviving family”. These young victims of the Israeli onslaught have lost everyone and everything. The film introduces us to some of these orphaned children. A young boy, for example, who lost his entire family and both legs in repeated Israeli air strikes. He is now in the care of his uncle, Ibrahim Abu Amsha. Then there are the siblings Lama and Sama Badwan, clad in matching outfits, who speak with an eerie calm about how their friends and neighbours were killed. When asked about the worst part of the bombing, one of the children responds: “Our friends died. Our neighbours died. Many people we love died.”

Perhaps most gut-wrenching of all is the plight of the infants dubbed “WCNSF” by the medics. Abu-Sitta laments that, “What might become of them is a thought too hard to bear.” By the end of October, the UN had already declared Gaza to be a “graveyard for children“, with over 67 per cent of the then 5,000 killed being children and women.

The film also follows the story of twin brothers Salah and Khaled, inseparable in life and tragically reunited in death when an attack on their neighbourhood left them and several family members buried under the rubble. Their surviving brother Ali recounts the devastating task of recovering their bodies and the trauma of having to inform his gravely injured sister Dalia, also a journalist, of their loss.

Throughout the documentary, we witness the fear and sorrow of a population that has endured unimaginable hardships.

The spectre of ethnic cleansing looms large, with many Palestinians expressing growing fears that Israel’s ultimate intention is to expel them from Gaza entirely. Huda is a mother who describes how, “The war we’re living through affects us, and the burdens at home break our backs more and more.” For those who survive the bombings, life has turned into a daily battle against famine and the ever-present threat of further violence.

The film also pays tribute to the bravery of Palestinian journalists like Hind Khoudary and Ali Jadallah, who fought back tears as they struggled to maintain their composure while reporting amid the carnage. In a cruel twist of fate, the war touched them personally when Jadallah’s family home was bombed, and his father was killed. The final gut-wrenching moment comes with the revelation that their courageous colleague Montaser Al-Sawaf was also killed in December, one of 108 Palestinian journalists who have been killed simply for trying to show the world what Israel is doing in the Gaza Strip.

While “Kill Zone: Inside Gaza” does not delve into the political complexities behind the conflict, it serves as a powerful, unflinching testimony to the human suffering inflicted upon Gaza’s besieged civilian population. It amplifies the voices of the innocent victims, particularly the children, who have endured unimaginable trauma and loss. This haunting documentary ensures that their stories will not be forgotten, even as their homes and families have been ripped apart by the savagery of Israel’s genocidal campaign against a besieged population with nowhere to hide.

The courage and dedication of Gaza’s journalists shine through in every frame of this brave documentary. While Israel has barred the world’s media from entering Gaza, these courageous souls have risked everything to ensure that one of the worst crimes of our age is never forgotten. Through their lenses, we see the devastation, war crimes and crimes against humanity unfold live on our screens. These journalists have not only documented history, they have become a part of it as well, with 108 of their colleagues paying the ultimate price for their commitment to the truth and holding Israel to account.

Their sacrifices have not been in vain. The footage they captured has been seared into the collective consciousness of the world. The names and faces of children like Lama and Sama Badwan, or the young boy who lost everything, will forever be remembered as symbols of the innocence and potential destroyed by Israel’s merciless onslaught. Their unwavering dedication will undoubtedly provide further evidence for prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) as they hold Israel and its leaders to account for their cruel, wicked war.

Watch the full documentary here.

READ: One-third of American Jews agree Israel committed ‘genocide’ in Gaza: Poll