New clip by Gisha marking International Human Rights Day: If Only – Young Palestinians in Gaza on What Freedom of Movement Means to Them

Tuesday, December 10, 2019. To mark International Human Rights Day, Gisha is proud to release If Only, a new clip exploring what freedom of movement means to young people in Gaza. Freedom of movement is a fundamental right that determines people’s ability to exercise agency over their lives. For those who enjoy it, it can almost be taken for granted. For years, the Strip’s civilian population of two million has been systematically denied the right to freedom of movement. Even with Rafah Crossing operating more regularly, travel abroad via Egypt remains limited. Ongoing movement restrictions imposed by Israel affect every aspect of life in the Strip: Families are split apart, economic activity is hindered, and access to opportunities is denied.

Seventy percent of Gaza’s residents, about 1.4 million people, are under 30 years old. The unemployment rate among them is more than 60 percent. Children in Gaza were born into a reality of closure and young people have grown up in its shadow. They are painfully aware of all that the 21st century offers to people living just beside them in Israel, yet are forced to face everyday life with undrinkable tap water, intermittent electricity supply and an inability to determine their own future.

Recently, 23-year-old photographer Asmaa Elkhaldi and Mohammed Azaiza, Gisha’s field coordinator in the Strip, took to Gaza’s streets and asked young women and men what freedom of movement means to them, what they would do if they had it, and what life in Gaza might look like without severe access restrictions. In the clip, people share their take on freedom of movement and on what is needed to create change for Gaza and the region as a whole.

 To watch If Only – Young Palestinians in Gaza on What Freedom of Movement Means to Them, see here.