Banksy's new video starts as if it is a travel ad for the Gaza Strip, featuring the thousands of homes which were bombed during last summer's war as "development opportunities."
The two-minute documentary uses the frame of a travel ad to show some of the destruction caused in Gaza during last year's conflict. The camera pans to children playing in the rubble, and locals sitting among the ruins of their homes.
"The locals like it so much they never leave," text says over the screen, "(because they're not allowed to)," followed by shots of IDF soldiers at the Qalandiya checkpoint separating the West Bank city of Ramallah from Jerusalem. Banksy visited the West Bank in 2005, and again in 2012, leaving his signature graffiti on several sites.
The video also features a man, presumably Banksy, traveling into Gaza through the network of tunnels that connect Gaza and Egypt. Those tunnels have increasingly come under attack by Egyptian security forces, who are creating a buffer zone between Egypt and Gaza. It is unclear from the video when Banksy travelled to Gaza, although his publicist, Jo Brooks, confirmed that the video was authentic, as are several new works by Banksy.
Banksy's visit to Gaza also included new pieces such as this image of the Greek goddess Niobe weeping over what remains of a building.
In another image, a cat plays with a ball of metal. On his website Banksy writes: "A local man came up and said 'Please — what does this mean?' I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens."
The video ends by focusing on a graffiti message on a wall:
"If we wash our hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless we side with the powerful — we don't remain neutral."
Sheera Frenkel is a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed News based in San Francisco. She has reported from Israel, Egypt, Jordan and across the Middle East. Her secure PGP fingerprint is 4A53 A35C 06BE 5339 E9B6 D54E 73A6 0F6A E252 A50F
Contact Sheera Frenkel at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.