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July 11th, 2011
Gaza E.R.
Introduction

“TV’s best documentary series…delivers another eye-opener….
A powerful film”

–The Globe and Mail

“Intimate and harrowing”
–United Feature Syndicate

“This just might be the most eye-opening, unforgettable documentary you will see this year.”
–Canwest News Service

About the Issue

As the Palestinians enter their 40th year of Israeli occupation, the divisions between their two main political factions – the moderate secular party Fatah and the militant Islamist organization Hamas – are as pronounced as ever. Sporadic fighting between the two rival factions intensified after the death of charismatic Fatah leader Yasser Arafat in November 2004. Following its landslide election victories in January 2006, Hamas, branded a terrorist group by the United States, Israel and the European Union, continued its refusal to recognize the Jewish state or to renounce its tactics of violence. The West responded with a crippling boycott, cutting off more than $1 billion in aid to Palestinians, and Israel not only closed Gaza’s borders but also restricted trade, making food, fuel, and medicine more expensive and increasingly scarce. Tensions between Hamas and Fatah grew after repeated failures to reach a deal to share government power, culminating in an outright civil war in June 2007 that split the Palestinian Territories into a Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Fatah-dominated West Bank.

About the Film

In the summer of 2006, as internal battles fracture the Palestinian Territories, WIDE ANGLE provides a glimpse inside the conflict as it spirals out of control. Gaza E.R. follows doctors, nurses, and staff at Shifa Hospital, the largest in the Gaza Strip, as they struggle in the face of turf wars between Hamas, rival faction Fatah, and powerful families with competing agendas. Our cameras reveal that gun-battles inside the hospital, massive shortages of pharmaceuticals and basic supplies, and unpaid salaries are routine occupational hazards at this medical outpost in the troubled Palestinian landscape.

  • Michael J. Halliday

    Hamas is a democratically elected government that received the popular support of a majority Palestinians in Gaza as a result of the failure of Fatah to effect any real changes on ground or win any concessions from a succession of Israeli governments that have no interest in peace whatsoever. Hamas’s unwillingness to recognize the state of Israel is a moot point which Israel uses to draw attention away from a host of human rights abuses and war crimes being committed by the Israeli Defense Forces in both the West Bank and Gaza.

    Twenty-six Israeli soldiers, involved in the latest massacre in Gaza have recently come forward to affirm this fact. The United Nations investigation into the allegations of war crimes will probably be released next month, and will almost certainly confirm what has been reported by these brave Israeli soldiers, and is already widely accepted in the world at large.

    Yet the U.S. expends almost all of its energy demonizing Iran, and its supposed nuclear threat, while totally ignoring the real threat to the region posed by the Israeli government.

    Israel isn’t about making peace. Israel is about stealing the land that they are now illegally occupying, and destroying any vestiges of its rightful owners.

    Obama’s speech in Cairo was nothing more than a collecton of meaningless words with absolutely no actions to back them up. It may have played well in the U.S. press, but the rest of the world was LOL, and rightly so.

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