How Banksy Sneaked Into the Gaza Strip

Local resident reports meeting male artist in his 30s
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 28, 2015 2:35 PM CST
How Banksy Sneaked Into the Gaza Strip
A mural of children using an Israeli army watch tower as a swing ride, presumably painted by British street graffiti artist Banksy.   (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The work of mysterious British graffiti artist Banksy has made an appearance in the Gaza Strip, and a publicist has confirmed to the AP that the artist reached the area through a tunnel; apparently, he sneaked in from Egypt. Local residents were skeptical about this account since Egypt has stepped up its military campaign against the tunnels and destroyed most of them after last summer's war.

But one 29-year-old said a Western artist arrived with a Palestinian translator about three months ago and started painting on the remaining wall of his battered home in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. He said the man looked to be in his mid-30s and painted a kitten in about a half hour. "He asked me not to remove the wall and to maintain the painting," the resident said. A 60-year-old on whose home there is graffiti depicting a watchtower was equally unimpressed. "We don't care about it. Gaza streets are full of posters, graffiti and drawings," he said. (More Banksy stories.)

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