Although the war in Gaza has subsided, for now, the Israeli siege continues. Since the 2006 Palestinian Parliamentary elections, Israel and the United States have led a campaign of international sanctions against Hamas and the elected Palestinian government. This campaign expanded in June, 2007 when Hamas assumed control of Gaza. Since then, Gaza has been almost completely cut off from the outside world – Gazans are not allowed to leave without Israeli permission (which it very rarely grants) and Israel has prevented many necessities from entering the territory including food, fuel, medicine and electricity. Revelations about Israel’s restrictions over the territory continue to come to light, such as last week’s story that Israel is not allowing pasta into Gaza. This has led many to refer to Gaza as the world’s largest open air prison.
Yoni Goodman, a main animator for Waltz with Bashir, created the short movie above for the Israeli organization Gisha to illustrated one part of the Israeli siege over Gaza – the complete lack of freedom of movement for Gazans. A spokesperson for Gisha has said that “Closed Zone” is meant to “cause the viewer to feel empathy for the people of Gaza and see them as they are – a million and a half people who only want to live out their ambitions and dreams, something they cannot do because of their ability to move freely.”
You can watch an interview with Goodman about the making of “Closed Zone” here. Although Bashir director Ari Folman always seemed to dodge questions about the war in Gaza, Goodman was driven by it. Goodman explains, “The issue was always important in my opinion, meaning the issue of the closure. The war made this project a mission for me.”
A version of this post originally appeared at Mondoweiss.