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Internet Cats: Banksy Kitten Highlights Gaza’s Plight

Image: Palestinians walk past a mural of a kitten, presumably painted by British street artist Banksy, on the remains of a house in Biet Hanoun
Palestinians walk past a mural of a playful-looking kitten, presumably painted by British street artist Banksy, on the remains of a house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in Biet Hanoun town in the northern Gaza Strip Feb. 26. SUHAIB SALEM / Reuters

A new mural in Gaza by the anonymous artist Banksy features a kitten seeming to play with a ball of tangled metal rods as if it were yarn. The playful kitty is a jarring contrast to the destruction that surrounds him, but that's Banksy's point. On his website, Bansky says, "A local man came up and said 'Please - what does this mean?' I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website - but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens."

More from Reuters:

The anonymous but eminent British street artist known as Banksy has posted a mini-documentary on his banksy.co.uk site showing squalid conditions in Gaza six months after the end of the war between the enclave's Islamist Hamas rulers and Israel. Israel was criticized over the large number of Palestinian civilian deaths during the conflict, including by its main ally the United States. Over 2,100 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, most of them civilians and many of them children, while 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians were killed.

The two-minute documentary was posted on Thursday and like many of Banksy's murals and other art is politically charged and whimsical at the same time. It starts off with a view of clouds from an airplane window while text on the screen says "Make this the year you discover a new destination."

Image: A mural, presumably painted by British street artist Banksy, is seen on a wall in Biet Hanoun
Children swing from a guard tower in a mural, presumably painted by British street artist Banksy, on a wall in Biet Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip on Feb. 26. SUHAIB SALEM / Reuters
Image: Palestinian girl looks on as a mural of a playful-looking kitten, presumably painted by British street artist Banksy, is seen on the remains of a house wall, in Biet Hano
A Palestinian girl stands near a mural of a playful-looking kitten. SUHAIB SALEM / Reuters