Various elder residents of a Lebanese village on the border with Israel tell the story of how their village and families came to be divided by the creation of Israel in 1948. Part of the Aramsha clan, their lands included four of five villages that lay on both side of the future Lebanese-Israeli border prior to 1948. Today, they live in constant surveillance (a drone can be seen in the video) and are separated from their kin living in Israel by tank patrols, barbed wire and land mines. One resident speaks of how she lost her leg to a land mine laid by Israelis when attempting to attend her father's funeral on the other side of the border. Since she can no longer obtain a permit to visit her relatives, it has been 20 years since she last saw her family.
SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT
Various of Fakhri Fanash with grandchildren walking in garden
Various of Israeli armored vehicles driving along Israeli-Lebanese border
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Fakhri Fanash, Dignitary of Aramsha Clan
01:26 – 04:49
“We are part of the Aramsha clan, which live in about four or five villages. This is Dhaira; over there are the villages of Idmith, Iribbin and Jordeh. We are all cousins, brothers and relatives. The lands that can be seen within the occupied territories are ours. I can name them: over there is Safra, Bater, Jordeh, Jrad Moussa; this Khallet al-Adas or Khallet al-Saheb. All of these lands were ours. We were part of one tribe. The Israeli invasion, or colonialism, divided this land. Some people are here in Dhaira – about one quarter [of the clan] and three quarters stayed there. There were four brothers, two of whom stayed there and two came here.
After 1948, they [Israelis] started annexing lands and [planting] mines and barbed wires. They set up the land the way they wanted. They took this part of the land.
In the Lebanese part of these territories, which is still with us, there are landmines over there where these olive trees are planted.
Behind Jordeh there is a cemetery, called the Aramsha Cemetery. This was both ours and theirs. You see, when my grandfather died, people were crying. There was a Lebanese Army patrol to keep people apart. All of our relatives from Palestine came to the cemetery, but we were about two meters away from each other. When the Army saw that people were crying and concerned for each other, it allowed people from both sides to come together. There were no barbed wires or landmines in that spot. All people came together, and the funeral became like a wedding because people were able to reunite.
Look at that patrol [DRONE CAN BE SEEN IN THE SKY]. It goes on day and night. There are also armored vehicles and tanks. We have property deeds form the Ottoman era that prove [our ownership over] the land that you can see in front of you, which is vast. We have documents written by the notary of Acre. During peace negotiations between Lebanon and the Israeli enemy, the ministry of foreign affairs asked us to present these papers, which we did. Afterwards, things went bad among Arab countries and we did not get anything from this.”
Wide of Israeli patrol
Wide/ zoom out of Fakhri Fanash’s grandchildren watch Israeli armored vehicle on other side of the border.
Various of Khairiya al-Moghais walking
SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Khairiya al-Moghais, Aramsha Clan Member
05: 14 – 09:05
“This is my sister [SHOWING PHOTOS]. These are my brother and his wife. This is also my brother and his wife. And this is my daughter.
It has been about 20 years. I used to visit them before, using a permit. Now I cannot go anywhere. I have not seen her for 20 years. This is also my brother. This is my daughter and this is my other daughter. When I see [their photo] I cry. I wish I could meet them.
I left my parents and ran away to Lebanon when I met my husband. I stayed at my sister’s, and then they took me to Beirut. I was sentenced to one month [in prison].
I have not seen my parents for 40 years.
Interviewer: Are you not communicating with them?
- No Interviewer: You do not know what is happening to them either?
- No, no. They forbid them… we used to shout to each other, but since the liberation we have not dared to talk to them. They do not dare to talk with us either.
Interviewer: Who is preventing you from doing that?
- We are scared. We are scared here. We do not dare. And over there, [Israeli] patrols guard the barbed wire.
I once heard an announcement over the loud speaker coming from the village of Jordeh. I thought my father died. I stepped on a wire. I was not thinking of the wire, I was only thinking of my father. I heard a sound and I thought I had stepped on a metal can. I did not realize it was a landmine. I walked a bit further and the landmine went off. I fell on the ground. I saw that my leg was cut off. I started to scream and people came in a hurry from Dhaira and from the other side, but people could not talk to each other.
I was lying in the middle; Israel was on this side and Lebanon on the other. Then they carried me away.
I stayed on the floor. I then extended my hand to a soldier from a patrol because I was in a lot of pain. I wanted him to lift me. He waved his hand as if to say “no.” They removed the landmines then took me in an ambulance.
I wish I could see my family and daughters before I… Then, I would not care if I died… All my relatives and family… we were all living together happily. Nobody did anything to us. This is our life.”
Wide of Israeli military post
Wide/ traveling of Israeli Humvee driving on other side of border
Wide of United Nation border demarcation barrel
Wide of territory across barbed wires
Various of landmine warning signs
Close up of flour/ demarcation barrel in background
Wide of car moving on other side of the Israeli border
Wide of Israeli military post
Various of landmine warning signs and border fence
Traveling of Jordeh, a village inhabited by Aramsha clan and held by Israel
Various of Israeli military transmission tower
Traveling of United Nations helicopter
Traveling of village Mazraat al-Aramsha, a village inhabited by Aramsha clan and controlled by Israel
Wide of woman walking by border fence on the Israeli side
Various of trees
Wide of houses on Israeli side of the border
Wide of children and cattle on Israeli side of border
Wide of landmine warning sign
Various of children on side of border
NAT Sound (Arabic) conversation across the border
-We are from Palestine. - What is your name? -Mohammad. - Mohammad what? -[UNINTELLIGIBLE] -Mohammad what? -Mohammad Jomaa. We are Arabs, not Jews. - Who are you? -Ahmad -Omar, Ali, Ahmad, Hammoudi, Lyn”
Children on Lebanese side waving the Palestinian flag.
Wide of Israeli Humvee driving by