“Make this the year YOU discover a new destination.”
That welcoming tagline serves as the opening title card to a 2-minute documentary that the legendary U.K. street artist Banksy posted to his website Wednesday evening. But in typical Bansky fashion, what follows is a an eye-opening short film, Welcome to Gaza.
A man—presumably Banksy—is seen traveling by car and then climbing through what he calls “a network of illegal tunnels” before entering Gaza. The camera homes in on children playing in the rubble.
“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.
The “tourism” video includes a statistic on Operation Protective Edge, a military operation launched by Israel in 2014 that it claims leveled 18,000 homes. Also included is footage of drone strikes—accompanied by American voices—locals voicing their disapproval at the state of things, and footage of the notoriously mysterious street artist stenciling several works on rock walls in Gaza. Banksy’s publicist Jo Brooks has confirmed that the video, as well as the four new graffiti works unveiled in Gaza, are all authentic.
“Gaza is often described as ‘the world’s largest open air prison’ because no one is allowed to enter or leave. But that seems a bit unfair to prisons—they don’t have their electricity and drinking water cut off randomly almost every day,” Banksy wrote on his website.
The video ends by focusing on a message graffiti’d in red letters 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.”Watch the full video here: