Al Jazeera Close Up

Jerusalem: Existence Is Resistance | Close Up

Resistance comes in many forms, and these three young Palestinian activists are exploring how they can keep fighting.

“I was filming … I didn’t do anything but suddenly he hit me,” says Ala’a, recounting how an Israeli soldier had beaten her with a baton as she stood filming an Israeli raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.

The young Palestinian activist said this became a common event during the holy month of Ramadan: Israeli forces storming the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and assaulting Palestinians.

Seventy-four years ago was the Nakba – when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes and were dispossessed of their land as the state of Israel was declared. Several generations of Palestinians have known no reality other than occupation, and many of the younger generation are tired of being under constant oppression.

They are finding their own ways of resistance, by drawing, singing, dancing, or simply by reminding Israeli settlers that Palestinians will always be there.

Existence as resistance.

In this film, we follow three young Palestinian activists in Jerusalem as they try to find joy in Ramadan, a time of reflection and gathering of loved ones for Muslims around the world. But ongoing tension around contested holy sites in the Old City of Jerusalem has made that very difficult.

In their own words: “This is not only the story of Ala, Abu Gharbeia and Dania. This is the story of every young Palestinian who lives under occupation every day.”


A film by: Raul Gallego Abellan

Local Producers: Latifeh R Abdellatif

Translations: Namir Abu Rmeileh, Ru’a Tuffaha

Fine edits: Catherine Hallinan

Producer: Alaa Alhussan

Executive Producer: Tierney Bonini

Additional footage by Latifeh R Abdellatif and Ala’a Sous