Out of My Window

To mark International Women’s Day, B’Tselem produced a DVD consisting solely of footage filmed by Palestinian women who volunteer with B’Tselem’s camera project:

In 2007, B'Tselem began providing video cameras and training to Palestinians living in high-friction areas in the West Bank. In honor of International Women’s Day, B'Tselem is issuing a collection of videos filmed by women who volunteer in its camera project. The images provide the viewer with a unique look into these women’s daily lives. The women in the project live in a reality in which human rights violations are a daily occurrence. It is a reality most of us prefer not to see, yet the documentation is crucial and also transformative. The women photographers say that the cameras have changed their lives. They provide a tool for personal, social, and popular expression and they make these women effective human rights advocates in a traditional society in which the men usually take center stage.

B’Tselem attaches a great deal of importance to women’s participation in the camera project and invests much effort in providing training and support for the volunteers.

Description of the selections:

Settler attack: Filmed by Nahala Mahmud Saleh, mother of five, from ‘Asira al-Qibliya, Nablus District

On 13 September 2008, a Palestinian entered the Shalhevet Yam settlement outpost and stabbed a nine-year-old child. In response, dozens of settlers raided the nearby village ‘Asira al-Qibliya, throwing stones, firing in the air, breaking windows, drawing a Star of David on the walls of houses, and causing great property damage. Soldiers at the scene did nothing to stop them.

Assault on shepherds in Susiya: Filmed by Muna a-Nawaj’ah, mother of three

The Nawaj’ah family, which lives in a tent encampment in the southern Hebron hills, have suffered repeatedly from settler attacks. On 8 June 2008, ‘Imran a-Nawaj’ah went with two of his children to graze his flock. Two settlers came and threatened them. One of the children called other family members to the site, among them Muna, who brought B'Tselem’s camera with her. She documented the settlers leaving the site, and then, a few minutes later, she filmed four masked settlers armed with clubs heading toward the family members. She managed to document the settlers assaulting one of them and then the camera fell from her hands and she ran to seek help while the attack continued.

To view video click here.

The shooting of a hand-cuffed detainee: Filmed by Salam Kan’an, high-school student from Ni’lin, a village west of Ramallah

The film shows a soldier, standing next to a lieutenant colonel, firing a rubber-coated metal bullet from close range at Asharf Abu Rahma who is hand-cuffed and blindfolded. Media coverage of the incident, which took place on 20 July 2008, led to a heated public debate on security forces’ treatment of Palestinians. The soldier and his commanding officer were subsequently tried and convicted, but were given light sentences.

To view video click here.

Coming to light: Filmed by ‘Awatef al-Jadali, al-Bureij refugee camp, Gaza Strip

Schoolgirls on a “fun day” in Gaza City. Between the games and songs, the girls describe their experiences in Operation Cast Lead, the major military operation in Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009.

To view video click here.

“A shared house”: Filmed by Muna and Muhammad al-Kurd, 12-year-old twins from Sheikh Jarrach, East Jerusalem

September 2010: With official approval, settlers seized control of the front part of the twins’ house in East Jerusalem. They and their family live in the back of the house.

To view video click here.

Life in a cage: Filmed by Fidaa Abu ‘Ayesha, then a high-school student from the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, in Hebron

In 1986, a settlement was established inside the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, in the heart of Hebron. Over the years, the presence of settlers made life intolerable for Palestinians, and many left Tel Rumeida. The Abu ‘Ayesha family remained and has suffered daily harassment by settlers. The video documents a settler from the neighborhood verbally assaulting the photographer. This footage generated extensive media coverage and attention by policymakers and the public both in Israel and around the world.

To view video click here.

In January 2007, B'Tselem launched its camera distribution project, a video advocacy project. We provide Palestinians living in high-conflict areas with video cameras, with the goal of bringing the reality of their lives under occupation to the attention of the Israeli and international public.

B’Tselem and the Guardian gave six Palestinians and Israelis cameras to create video diaries of their lives in occupied East Jerusalem, under the shadow of the settlement enterprise.