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Palestinian authorities plan to build a film studio in Gaza to shoot propaganda films
Palestinian authorities plan to build a film studio in Gaza to shoot propaganda films, the head of the Hamas-run television channel, Al-Aqsa, said Wednesday. The movie studio called Madinat Asdaa (the city of echoes) will be located on the site of the former Israeli settlement abandoned two years ago under the dismantlement program, Fathi Hammad said. Despite the economic problems in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip work has already begun on the site and following the example of Hollywood, organizers are to build an amusement park and a fish farm next to the studio. The first film to be shot at the new movie studio will be an Islamic movie Hammad said, but there are hopes that it will repeat the critical acclaim awarded director Elia Suleiman's 2003 film, Divine Intervention, which won best foreign film at Cannes in 2002 and was nominated for an Oscar in 2003. The Gaza Strip has been under control of the radical Islamist group Hamas since June, which resulted in sanctions and the suspending of humanitarian aid by the UN and the European Union, and the closure of borders with Israel.
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