Inside Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Mia Farrow visits Israel and the Palestinian territories
U.S. actress and U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow ended her week-long trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories today, after visiting the Gaza Strip, the southern Israeli town of Sderot and Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.
She has been focusing on projects in Africa for the past several years but said “it was time” for her to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories. “My cause is children suffering in conflict zones, and this is the place for it,” she told Reuters.
Farrow visited a hospital and an artificial limb center and met children at a northern Gaza school last Thursday, deploring the living conditions in the Gaza Strip. The next day Farrow traveled to Sderot, an Israeli city just a few kilometres (miles) from the Gaza border that was regularly targeted by rockets fired by Palestinian militants, and a nearby kibbutz.
Farrow ended her official schedule on Saturday with a visit to Jenin refugee camp, site of the fierce 2002 battle between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants. She toured the camp’s women’s activity center and spent time with the children, dancing traditional Palestinian dances and playing games. She visited a home in the refugee camp and toured the streets to meet more residents.
She declined to comment on the political situation, except to voice support for Justice Richard Goldstone, who led a U.N. commission that found that Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in the December-January Gaza war.
“I’ve read facts lifted from the report, and I’m using the word facts, because it’s an independent investigation and I believe it is. I believe Justice Goldstone is an incredible man and he found fault on both sides,” Farrow said. “But I thought that Israel’s response was overwhelming and catastrophic. And I’ve seen that.”
As the children watched Farrow drive away from the refugee camp I asked Reema, a seven-year-old girl wearing braided pigtails, if she knew who the former fashion model and veteran actress with 40 films under her belt was. Her response: “I don’t know who she is… someone who likes kids and came to visit?”
Click below to see Mia Farrow’s visit to Jenin refugee camp on October 18, 2009:
PHOTO: U.S. actress Mia Farrow (2nd L), a UNICEF goodwill ambassador, receives drawings from Palestinian children during her visit to a refugee camp in the West Bank city of Jenin October 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman