ABC's Simon McGregor-Wood reports from Jerusalem:
It all started with a TV ad for an Israeli cell phone network. The ad showed an Israeli military patrol driving along Israel’s controversial separation barrier with the Palestinians.
Suddenly a soccer ball lands on the hood of the soldiers’ jeep. The soldiers kick it back to the Palestinian side of the high concrete wall, but the unseen Palestinians kick it back again and an impromptu game begins cheered on by more Israeli soldiers summoned by cell phone calls.
The ad was condemned for trivializing the hardship caused by the separation barrier to ordinary Palestinians. They and many human rights organizations say the barrier was built to take more of their land. The Israelis claim it was only built for defense against Palestinian suicide attacks.
But now the Palestinians have responded on Youtube with an ad of their own.
Palestinians from the village of Bi’ilin hold weekly demonstrations against the barrier which has already cut them off from some of their farmland. This week a group of protestors filmed themselves kicking soccer balls over the fence. This time they didn’t get the ball back. They got tear gas instead.
They posted the video and used the same soundtrack as the Israeli ad. Take a look. First the Israeli ad and then the Palestinian response.