Gazans give whirling tour of their city
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Gazans give whirling tour of their city

Local parkour team shows off its skills amid the rubble of Gaza City in response to Banksy video

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Gaza city parkour enthusiasts perform in front of graffiti by British artist Banksy in Gaza City. (screen capture: Youtube/The Guardian)
Gaza city parkour enthusiasts perform in front of graffiti by British artist Banksy in Gaza City. (screen capture: Youtube/The Guardian)

A Gaza City parkour team displayed its talents at navigating concrete debris in a video created in response to a satirical clip by British graffiti artist Banksy in which he invited people to vacation in the Gaza Strip.

The video was published on The Guardian website on Monday as part of a series of features highlighting cities around the world and the particular challenges each faces.

The Gaza parkour video set to the music of Palestinian hip-hop artist Shadia Mansour shows enthusiasts leaping, somersaulting and spinning off rubble in the city. Parkour, a sport which originated in France, uses gymnastic and acrobatic skills to find the shortest route over and around obstacles in an urban environment.

The video is presented and narrated by Parkour Gaza club member Abdallah Al-Qassab, who relates some of the difficulties that Gaza City residents endure.

“Nearly 50% of us are unemployed and we are very available to show you around,” Qassab says, adding that some 12,000 people in the coastal enclave are homeless.

“But with no construction materials coming in, here in Gaza we can’t rebuild,” he says and laments the frequent blackouts and drinking water shortages.

As the camera follows the team members, they tumble and leap their way around the city’s sites, including some of the graffiti Bansky drew during a recent visit.

“So come and discover us and make Gaza your destination,” Qassab says quoting a slogan from Bansky’s original video.

The clip ends with the group doing acrobatics on a beach as two large explosions go off in the background, though what caused the blasts was unclear.

Last month Banksy released a video portraying Gaza as a “travel destination.”

“Make this the year YOU discover a new destination,” the clip declares.

The promo video parody shows the artist entering Gaza through an illegal tunnel and spray-painting his signature style work around wreckage in the Gaza Strip from this summer’s conflict between Palestinian groups and the IDF.

Banksy’s work is known for its dark humor, often combining light, childish images with disturbing or violent ones.

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