On Saturday evening, 15 November 2015, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) organized a special event to display a new documentary titled “Attack on Gaza: 2014 Summer” at al-Mashtal Hotel in Gaza. The event received wide participation from journalists, students of media, representatives of civil society organizations, public figures and social activists. Following the display of the documentary, a comprehensive discussion was held with Japanese journalist Doi Toshikuni, who made the documentary. The discussion focused on ways to transmit messages from the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) to the international community through media to unveil the reality of crimes committed by Israeli forces against the Palestinian civilians and their property.
Lawyer Raji Sourani, Director of PCHR, started the event by introducing Toshikuni and his experience in the oPt in documenting the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for over 30 years, mainly through his documentaries, as he is an expert in this field. Moreover, Toshikuni published a number of articles and TV reports to reflect the suffering endured by Palestinians in the Palestinian villages, refugee camps and cities. Toshikuni published 13 books in Japan; 8 of which were about Palestine. In 2009, he completed a documentary series on “Unheard voice – Palestine, Occupation and People” that was based on his prolonged years of experience. The final piece of the series namely “Breaking the Silence” won three outstanding film awards in Japan.
During the event, some parts of the new documentary were displayed, focusing on the infrastructure destroyed in the 2014 latest Israeli offensive and the disastrous impacts resulting from the collective punishment and blockade imposed on two million civilians living in the Gaza Strip. The documentary showed the Palestinians civilians’ suffering resulting from the systematic destruction of infrastructure and vital sectors, including the power plant, and its consequences on the basic facilities, especially hospitals and sewage network in addition to targeting industrial and agricultural facilities and water wells.
Following the documentary, the audience opened a comprehensive discussion. Toshikuni explained that it is not only important to document the direct impact of the offensive, including the number of killed and wounded persons and size of destruction, that usually draws the media’s attention during news coverage. However, the most important thing is to document and convey the indirect impacts and suffering left by the offensive on civilians’ life, as the suffering does not end by the end of the offensive. Toshikuni stressed that what Israeli forces do is systematic destruction of Palestinians’ life aspects, which should be highlighted and transmitted to the world through humanitarian messages and going into details of the Palestinians’ suffering depending on individual stories. He added that this is very important when addressing the international community and changing in the public opinion.