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28 Nov, 2014 03:16

Filming for freedom: 8yo Palestinian girl uses smartphone to report on Israeli occupation

Filming for freedom: 8yo Palestinian girl uses smartphone to report on Israeli occupation

Armed with only a mobile phone, Jana Tamimi – possibly the world’s youngest civilian journalist – has been filming Israeli occupation forces in her West Bank village. The Palestinian girl says she wants to deliver a message to the world with her videos.

READ MORE: US helping Israel boycott Geneva summit on occupied territories – diplomatic sources

Tamimi’s home village, Nabi Saleh, is a tiny Palestinian enclave with a population of 600, located some 70 miles north of Hebron. Residents of Nabi Saleh say that settlers have seized 60 percent of the village's territory, including a local spring, the Daily Mail reported.

Tamimi documents the weekly demonstrations against Israeli settlements held by local residents and international activists. The protests are often joined by local children who take Israeli soldiers to task for their part in the occupation.

The young citizen journalist participates in a demonstration protesting Israeli occupation in her home village.(A screenshot from a video by YouTube user David Reeb)

The young girl says she wants to deliver her people’s message to the world and hopes that her reports will help gain international support for the struggle of the Palestinian people.

'When we started to go out for marches there weren't a lot of photographers with us so I had an idea to document and deliver our message. The message of all Palestinians and Palestinian children to the world so they come to support us and to free Palestine and live under freedom and get our rights,” Tamimi told Reuters.

Wartawan Muda Berusia 8 Tahun Merakam Video Menggunakan Telefon Pintar Di Palestin http://t.co/mS5pDtYp8rpic.twitter.com/wlyDKOTwQR

— Amanz (@amanz) November 27, 2014

The girl’s mother, Nawal Tamimi, says that her daughter has grown up with “fear and pain,” and has witnessed the demonstrations in her village since she was three years old, when the clashes started.

“We want to live in freedom so when we walk in the street no settler will run us over” the school girl said.

8-year-old Jana Tamimi confronts Israeli soldiers near her home village—Nabi Saleh in the West Bank.(A screenshot from a video by YouTube user David Reeb)

Tamimi is also an avid protester, joining the other Palestinians at weekly demonstrations as they march through the village holding Palestinian flags and chanting “Palestine will be free” in English.

Currently, over 350,000 Israelis live in the West Bank. According to Yesha Council of Settlements, an umbrella organization representing the political interest of Jewish settlers, 7,500 new settlers moved to the contested area in the first nine months of this year alone. In 2004, the International Court of Justice found all settlements in the West Bank illegal. Last year, the United Nations decried Israel's presence in the West Bank as a violation of Palestinian human rights and urged Israel to withdraw its settlers from the occupied territories.

READ MORE: 8k per head: Israel boosts security for E. Jerusalem settlers

Israel announced plans for 1,500 new housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem earlier this year. Most recently, the government approved the building of 200 news homes in Ramot, a suburb of Jerusalem. "We won't accept any limitation on building in Jewish areas of [east] Jerusalem," Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, explained earlier this month. The Israeli government views settlement building as lawful under the terms of victory of the Six Day War.

READ MORE: Israel gives green light for 200 new homes in occupied East Jerusalem