Uphill struggle on the road to peace

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The Independent Culture
Friday night marks the beginning of Passover - an eight-day Jewish celebration of freedom from oppression and the journey to the promised land. So it's fitting that "holy week" should see an exploration of life in the "land of milk and honey" today. The Holylands, a three-part documentary (9pm C4, continues tomorrow and Thur), examines the turmoil on both sides as Israelis and Palestianians have to adjust to the arduous, but essential, peace process.

Tonight's programme, "A Troubled Peace", centres on the Jebalya refugee camp in Gaza. This was an astute decision by the film-makers, as Jebalya is the acknowledged birthplace of the Palestinian rebellion (intifada), and had the reputation of being "the most violent place in the occupied territories". With an army base at its core, the soldiers had to live within the confines of the camp itself, in the midst of those they were occupying.

The film engages with both sides, giving a valuable insight into the lives of just a few of those involved before and after the Israeli withdrawal from the camp in 1984.

As last Sunday's suicide bombings showed, little has changed in the past year. The violent attacks and casualties continue, and opposition to the process is far from resolved. The price of peace is already very high on both sides, and the only hope is that the continuing divisions are not allowed to defeat Rabin and Arafat's brave accord.