As terrorists strike deep in the heart of Israel and schoolchildren are buried in Gaza, a new and devastating chapter in the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict looks set to unfold. Israel and Hamas are on collision course, each new incursion or terror attack propelling them towards outright war.
Reporter Sam Kiley and director Edward Watts travel across Israel, Gaza and the West Bank to discover whether Hamas is gaining in strength despite Israeli assaults, a siege on Gaza, international isolation, and virtual civil war. Are the Islamists' succeeding in their aim to be a credible government and lead the Palestinian national cause?
Unreported World reveals how in Gaza Hamas has harnessed Palestinian defiance at the siege, and used brutal oppression to crush its internal opponents, while continuing to rain rockets down on Israeli civilians. They discover young men and women are being been shot for being members of the rival Fatah political faction. Many do not dare seek treatment in the main Hamas-controlled hospitals
The team reveals the human tragedies caused by Israel's response. Civilians who suffer horrific injuries on the edge of supposedly targeted airstrikes. Electricity engineers who ration the electricity and switch transformers by hand, risking death by electrocution or lynching by angry citizens. Homes flooded with sewage that bubbles up through their toilets.
On the other side of the line in Israel, the team visits Sderot, which has been hit with more than 8,000 rockets in three years. Its population lives in a state of grinding fear.
On the West Bank the rival Palestinian faction Fatah rules through the US and EU backed Palestinian Authority. The team discover Hamas legislators, militants, students and preachers have been rounded up in their hundreds. They film as the death of a local Hamas imam in Palestinian police custody ignites widespread demonstrations in which Fatah is accused of doing the West’s dirty work. The marks they see on the imam confirm that he has been extensively tortured.
Kiley concludes that, far from collapsing in the face of the political, economic and military pressure Hamas survives - and may even be gaining in strength. As the team leave, amid rising levels of violence, the voices of moderation and the advocates of peace are increasingly drowned out in the growing clamour for war.
"Cutting edge and frankly brave reporting from one of the bloodiest and most intractable conflicts"
- Daily Telegraph
May 23, 2008
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