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2012-11-20

"Where Should the Birds Fly": Gaza Filmmaker Documents Civilian Toll of 2008-09 Israeli Assault

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As Israeli air strikes continues for a seventh day, we turn to a film by Fida Qishta, a young Palestinian filmmaker born and raised in Gaza. The documentary, produced by Deep Dish TV, is called "Where Should the Birds Fly." The title is taken from a poem by renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. The film looks at the effects of the 22-day Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip in 2008-09 that killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians. [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: We end today with an excerpt of a documentary made by a young Palestinian woman in Rafah. This was four years ago in Operation Cast Lead. Today, as the assault on Gaza enters the seventh day, we turn to Fida Qishta’s documentary, who was born and raised in Gaza. The documentary, produced by Deep Dish TV, is called Where Should the Birds Fly, the title taken from a poem by renowned poet Mahmoud Darwish. The film looks at the effects of the 22-day Isreali military operation in the Gaza Strip in which it’s believed 1,400 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority civilians. Let’s go to a clip.

FIDA QISHTA: Israel’s war on Gaza began without warning on December 27th, 2008, with a massive F-16 and drone assault. Israel has attacked Gaza hundreds of times in the last decade, but the scale and destructiveness of this assault was unprecedented. They called it Operation Cast Lead. We call it a massacre.

In Rafah, where my family lives, the attack began in mid-morning while the school shifts were changing. The streets were filled with children. I was visiting a friend when the bombs started to fall. We saw smoke coming from every direction. I ran towards the flames.

I was the first journalist on the scene. I had to capture the moment, but I didn’t have my camera. I called my brother on the cellphone, "Abed, bring me the camera." He came running. I could see fear in everyone’s eyes. The screaming children were the most horrible sight. My brother was terrified. He tried to pull me out. "Fida! Fida! The plane! The plane!" But I couldn’t leave. My camera is the only weapon I have against these attacks on the people of Gaza. Despite my own fear and anger, I felt safe behind the camera. I know if I’m shot, my camera will capture...

AMY GOODMAN: Fida Qishta’s film, Where Should the Birds Fly. The film looks at the effects of the 22-day Israeli military operation in Gaza Strip four years ago, right after President Obama was elected the first time, just as this attack has happened after he was elected the second time. In that attack, more than 1,400 Palestinians were killed, the vast majority civilians. Tune in to democracynow.org to get the latest on what’s happening today in Gaza.

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