Jerusalem’s High Cost of Living



A few weeks after the beginning of the final stage in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, a Palestinian-American filmmaker embarks on a journey back to his city of ancestry, Jerusalem. Instead of finding his Israeli neighbors mobilizing for peace, he encounters unexpected hostility. It was an ominous sign. Days later, the Jerusalem Uprising breaks out after Sharon's fateful incursion into the Noble Sanctuary (Al-Aqsa). The filmmaker finds himself in the eye of the storm as a witness to tragedies of fellow Palestinian Jerusalemites who are gunned down mercilessly by Israeli soldiers before his very eyes.

At the Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem, the filmmaker lives the drama of a number of Jerusalemite families as they cope with death, injury, and injustice. As the toll mounted, one person symbolized the tragic losses of the first day of the Intifada. On Friday September 29, 2000, the 23-year-old Osama Mohammad Jaddah, an African-Palestinian from the Old City of Jerusalem, was on his way to give blood but was gunned down by an Israeli sniper at the Makassed Hospital. According to the Israeli media, his mother Wafa sent him to die for a cash reward and a photo opportunity. This couldn't be further from the truth…


Hazim Bitar -- 5' (Palestine/USA: 2001)