Whilst you watched the Oscars last night, we sat inside the apartment keeping an eye on the news. We are currently under ‘lockdown,’ which rather dramatically means we are not allowed to travel anywhere in the West Bank, not even into the centre of Ramallah. This is because of the increase in protests and clashes following the death by torture of Arafat Jaradat in Israeli custody at the weekend.
Jaradat, a 30 year old father from Sair near Hebron, was arrested for an alleged stone throwing incident in which an Israeli citizen was injured, according to Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence service. Yesterday evening it was confirmed by a Palestinian doctor that his death was caused by torture and he had no underlying heart conditions, it was the fractures in the body, laceration to his lips and bruises in his face and ribs which ultimately accumulated to his death by shock. He leaves behind two young children and a pregnant wife.
Upon the announcement of his death on Saturday, continuing through to his funeral which took place earlier this afternoon, thousands of Palestinians have taken to the streets to protest in solidarity. At the same time, 3000 prisoners have taken part in a hunger strike and impassioned demonstrators have turned out in force in Gaza.
His death comes after an Israeli soldier was criticised for posting a photograph of a young child caught in the crosshairs of his rifle last week, causing the international citizen media to speculate on the obscene use of violence by the Israeli army on unarmed Palestinian citizens.
Returning to the result of the Oscars, unfortunately neither Five Broken Cameras nor the Gatekeepers picked up best documentary. But simply having two films, one Palestinian and one Israeli, nominated, gives us some hope that the international community are not turning a blind eye to what is happening here in the West Bank.
I am personally yet to see either film. Perhaps, if we continue to be housebound, it would be appropriate to finally watch Five Broken Cameras this evening.