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Land Day 6
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

In the West Bank village of Wadi Fukin, an olive tree planting event is underway with local activists and refugees from Bethlehem's refugee camps to commemorate Land Day on March 30th 2015.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 18
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

Activists flee as Israeli forces rain tear gas down on them. The tear gas stopped the olive tree planting event being held to commemorate Land Day in the Palestinian village of Wadi Fukin.
Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 1
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

A Palestinian youth raises a Palestinian flag from the top of settlement construction machinery within the construction site that is expanding the Israeli settlement of Sur Hadassah. Sur Hadassah is located on the land of the West Bank Palestinian village of Wadi Fukin and the land of the pre-Nakba Palestinian village of Ras Abu Ammar.

Wadi Fukin/Ras Abu Ammar, West Bank/Green Line, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 2
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

A small group of activists reach the construction site on the top of the hill in which Sur Hadassah settlement is being further expanded.

Wadi Fukin/Ras Abu Ammar, West Bank/Green Line, Palestinel. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 3
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

An elderly Palestinian women plants an olive tree sapling on land of the village of Wadi Fukin, which is threatened with confiscation by the expansion of the Sur Hadassah Jewish settlement.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
27 Mar 2015

Yakoub Odeh is one of Lifta's Nakba survivors and also the head of 'Sons of Lifta' - a community group that was established by the refugees in defense of their village and their right to return to live in the village: "We are here to remember, we are here to learn and we are here to say we will never give up (our struggle for return)." Yakoub Odeh and Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 7
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

The refugees ended their Land Day action with Friday prayers at the edge of Lifta's spring under the watchful eyes of Israeli security forces and Jewish orthodox youth from the nearby settlements.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 8
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

A Jewish youth from a nearby settlement talks to Palestinians commemorating land day in the village of Lifta.

Although the village centre of Lifta and its houses remain unoccupied, large areas of the village's wider lands were expropriated for settlement expansion. Orthodox youth from these settlements regularly visit Lifta to bath in its spring

Palestinian refugees and Jewish orthodox youth, Lifta, West Jerusalem, March 27 2015.

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Land Day 9
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Lifta's mosque is also still standing today and offers sweeping views across the western slopes of the village from its arched windows.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel, March 27 2015.

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Land Day 10
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Cleaning and restoration work in the village cemetery has become a focal point for many events held by the community-in-exile when they visit Lifta. The refugees' ancestors remain buried at the site to this day. There are now estimated to be more than 7 million Palestinian refugees and displaced people.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 11
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Nader Liftawi was born a refugee in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem in 1970 and was brought to the village regularly by his father from an early age.

"I have brought my children here since they were young. I come at least once every month to check the houses, clean the graves and smell the air. This is everything to us," explained Nader.

Nader Liftawi, Palestinian refugee form Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 13
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Lifta was forcibly depopulated in early 1948 by Zionist militias, well before the official establishment of the State of Israel. Some Nakba survivors say that they were told to leave temporarily and would later be allowed to return.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 14
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Yakoub Odeh is one of Lifta's Nakba survivors and also the head of 'Sons of Lifta' - a community group that was established by the refugees in defense of their village and their right to return to live in the village: "We are here to remember, we are here to learn and we are here to say we will never give up (our struggle for return)."

Yakoub Odeh and Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 15
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Lifta is unique amongst the Palestinian villages that were depopulated during the Nakba in that the majority of its houses remain structurally intact and are not occupied by Israelis today.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta. Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 22
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

The refugees hung signs in various locations around Lifta reaffirming the history and Palestinian identity of the village.
Palestinian refugees from Lifta, Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 16
Lifta
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

After a journet of only 10 minutes the refugees arrived back in the village from which they were forcibly displaced in early 1948 by Zionist militias.
Palestinian refugees from Lifta, Lifta, West Jerusalem, Israel. March 27 2015.

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Land Day 17
East Jerusalem
By Rich Wiles
26 Mar 2015

Palestinian refugees boarded buses in the East Jerusaelm neighbourhood of French Hill to make the short journey across the Green Line to their home village of Lifta to commemorate Land Day.

Palestinian refugees from Lifta, March 27 2015, French Hill, East Jerusalem, Palestine.

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Houthi Rebels Capture Major Yemen Coa...
Hodaidah
By Dhaifallah Homran
28 Feb 2015

February 28, 2015
Hodeidah, Yemen

Houthi rebels took control of the coast guard center in Hodeidah, Yemen's second largest port town and fourth largest city, after heavy clashes with Yemeni special forces on February 27. Fighting went on for six hours, beginning at dawn when the Houthis bombed the centre with heavy weapons. Military sources did not confirm any injuries.

The video shows Houthis with the heavy artillery they seized, the interior of the coast guard center, and an armed contingent of them chanting, "Allahu Akbar, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam."

The Houthis took control over most of Hodeidah in October 2014 but there were pockets of resistance such as the base of the coast guard of the Yemeni Navy.

Hodeidah is Yemen's second largest coastal town in Yemen and is of strategic importance due to its situation on the Red Sea, between the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal.

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A Tale of Two Cities - Jerusalem
Jerusalem
By David Vaaknin
07 Oct 2014

October 2-5, 2014
Jerusalem

Perhaps the most culturally significant city in the world, Jerusalem is a mosaic of religions, cultures, and traditions. It is a city where the past and the present collide in a both harmonious and conflictual way. Hip shopping malls are frequented by both secular Israelis and orthodox Jewish clientele who adhere to an ancient way of life; Palestinians buy mobile phones from a telecommunications kiosk in the walled old city; and international tourists marvel at one of the world's oldest churches. On the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the city's modern highways and light rail tramline stand empty as the use of all electronics is discouraged in recognition of the holiday. These photos illustrate the layers of this timeless, yet modern city.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
02 Oct 2014

The Wailing Wall with the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque in the background in the Temple Mount.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Church of the Nativity
By Noe Falk Nielsen
01 Oct 2014

The site where Jesus is said to have been born. Church of Nativity, Bethlehem, West Bank.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
30 Sep 2014

Jewish devotees attend evening prayer at the Wailing Wall. The wailing wall is the last remaining part of the second temple built by Herod in 19 BC. The wall comprised the western wall of the former temple, thus its alternate name the "Western Wall".

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
30 Sep 2014

Christian woman pray at the site where it is said Jesus was laid to rest.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Sep 2014

The Dome of the Rock towering above the Wailing Wall in the right foreground. The Foundation Stone inside the Dome is significant to both Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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Jerusalem - the birthplace of Monotheism
Jerusalem
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Sep 2014

Christian woman lighting a candle for Jesus at the site of the cave at the Church of theHoly Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

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Erasing Palestine: Historic Village N...
Lifta
By Vinciane Jacquet
23 Sep 2014

September 7-19, 2014
Lifta, West Bank, Palestine

The last remaining deserted, pre-1948 Palestinian village in Israel is now facing possible destruction. Located on the outskirts of Jerusalem, the village of Lifta is now an empty collection of old stone houses falling into neglect. For the past 20 years, the Israeli government has been pushing to destroy the remaining buildings to make room for new luxury homes, hotels, a shopping mall, and a recreation park. The courts have rejected governmental requests to build, but the construction of a new railway line running through the village has many thinking that the end is near. In the meantime, local Israeli Jews use Lifta as a picnic spot and swim in its ancient spring. For the few surviving Palestinians who were born in Lifta, visiting their former village brings about a mix of emotions: nostalgia for an idyllic childhood spent amongst the olive groves, and bitterness at the destruction and appropriation of their home and heritage.

Lifta's inhabitants were systematically expelled by Israeli forces between 1947 and 1948. After the residents were expelled, Jewish immigrants, mostly from Yemen, moved into the empty homes. After the 6-Day War in 1967, the Israeli government offered the Jewish residents of Lifta new homes in Jerusalem. The residents happily accepted the offer and blew up the roofs of Lifta's houses before they left to ensure that no one would return to the village.

The Palestinian villages inside present day Israel which were deserted in 1948 have been largely erased from the map. While Israel still retains around 1 million Palestinian residents, many fear that the destruction of Lifta would erase, once and for all, the memory of those Palestinians who once inhabited much of present day Israel, but lost their homes when the state was created.

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Protecting an Ancient Damascus Synagogue
Damascus
By TTM Contributor 6
19 Sep 2014

September 19, 2014
al-Madares Street, Jobar, Damascus

Local citizens protect and maintain an ancient Jewish synagogue in the besieged Damascus suburb of Jobar, despite the heavy damage inflicted on it by heavy clashes between the FSA and Syrian Army. Located at the end of al-Madares street, the synagogue is believed to date from 720 BCE and was a temple for the prophet Khedr and prophet Elias.

The monument was largely neglected by the Syrian government before the war and has been damaged many times with mortars and bombs during the war. However, its local caretaker, and the inhabitants of the area continue to care for the building, as they have for decades.

Shot list:
Various shots show the location of the synagogue and the damage to the building.
Various shots show the remains of the synagogue, such as historical artifacts and some ancient writings
Various shots show an underground chamber that is said to have been used by prophet Khedr to pray
Various shots show the massive destruction that happened around the synagogue

Sound Bites:
Abu Loay, a member of the local committee of Jobar, interested in the issue of the synagogue, explains the story of the synagogue from its establishment to the present day.
(00:39)

Interviewer: How long have you had this job?

Abu Loay: We have been taking care of the synagogue for the past 2-3 years. There used to be a guard here, but he left after the problems started, and then the inhabitants of the area left, so we came here, the men and myself. We are taking care of it. The citizens and the elderly of this town asked us to stay here and guard the synagogue and until now, it has not been attacked.

Interviewer: How was the synagogue looking when you started working here?

Abu Loay: It was amazing, it had fence and it was an ancient historical monument, it goes back thousands of years.
Interviewer: Were there any Jews living in the area?

Abu Loay: Here in Jobar we did not have any Jews, but back in the days of our grandparents, we used to have Jews. When I was a child, I remember there was a big percentage of Jews in the Jewish street. They used to come every Saturday from the Jewish street to visit the synagogue here. When Israel was established, many of the Jews left, that was along time ago.

Interviewer: Were there huge numbers of Jews in Damascus?

Abu Loay: Yes of course, they all used to live in the Jewish street, an area named the Jewish street, in the old city of Damascus.

Interviewer: When did they leave and where did they go?

Abu Loay: Most of them went to Israel, the government back then gave them a choice, to either stay here or leave, and a lot of them chose to leave.

Interviewer: How was the synagogue destroyed?

Abu Loay: About two years ago, from the side of Harasta, they [Syrian Army] attacked us with the multiple rocket launcher. Over 15 shells were dropped at the same time. I took footage of the incident and then I tried [to expose the attack], I went to many media outlets, trying to call the Jews to come and protect the synagogue, but nobody responded. They [Syrian Army] hit the ceiling in two spots and the kitchen burnt down.

Interviewer: Why did you keep protecting the synagogue if the Jews themselves did not respond and did not come to protect it?

Abu Loay: First of all, the synagogue is located in my town, I am from Jobar. Secondly, it is a legacy, not only for the Jews, but also for us. It is a legacy for the citizens of Jobar. It is thousands of years old and it is as valuable as any church or mosque.

Interviewer: Being here in the synagogue, do you feel any attachment to this place?

Abu Loay: I swear I feel like it is my own home. I was sleeping right here, with my wife and children, and if I have to go somewhere I lock the place up. I was residing here for about six months.

Interviewer: How did you feel when the synagogue was attacked and destroyed?

Abu Loay: I felt like I lost a piece of my heart. Only someone who lives here will understand the true value of this synagogue.

Interviewer: Do you think there is a way to repair the synagogue?

Abu Loay: In this condition, all of this wreckage must be removed, they destroyed it. Go back to the old pictures of the synagogue and compare, it used to be heaven.

Interviewer: Do you speak Hebrew?

Abu Loay: No I only speak the language of Jobar.

Interviewer: Do you mind escorting us on a tour around the synagogue?

Abu Loay: Of course, I do not mind, let’s take the tour.
(04:28)

(04:33) Here there used to be the main door, and there, it used to be a kitchen. There is the room I used to sleep in.
This room was an office and I used to sleep in it. The women used to sleep upstairs, and this was a storage room. The main temple is in the back. This is the only tree that is still living.

(05:44) This is a new building, and there were rooms and the rooftop.
That used to be the entrance of the synagogue, and there use to be two rooms up there. And there was a water well.
Can you see this slot in the wall, they used to store the oil cans in their. Near the pile of rocks there used to be the alter. Those two chambers are completely destroyed.

(07:17) Look at the pigeon nest in the gap in the wall. That was here before the shelling.
This is an old school, and there used to be a wall here, the old school is for UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency].
There used to be a room, then a small hall and then another room, all ancient.
This carpet is from the remains of the temple, they used to love those colors, our brothers the Jews. This is another one, everything valuable we were able to find after the destruction, we removed it.

(08:39) Here used to be a huge bronze round plate, and here is the step of the prophet. Here they used to keep the oil, here they used to have books, and there was the seating area. The building was ancient and the temple had a very high ceiling.

(09:30) Here, where I am walking, used to be the few steps leading to the alter. Where I am standing now is the location of the alter. It was about half a circle and made out of wood and the chandeliers above it, it used to be amazing.

(10:20) Those gaps in the walls used to have frames, and here used to be a painting, and next to it a bronze box labeled "Charity".
And here, as we said before, they used to keep the oil.

(11:28) Here is the prayer chamber, our grandfathers used to say that the prophet Khedr used to come to pray here. This hole in the ceiling was an air vent for this chamber, but the shelling has destroyed most of the room.

(12:21) Look what the destruction did to it. The last time they dropped vacuum bombs on this area, the buildings around the synagogue were also destroyed.

(12:41) There used to be four candlesticks and a chair, an antique chair, they are not destroyed, we preserved them.

(13:05) This is the wreckage of the synagogue. They [Syrian Military] attacked us with many types of weapons, including jets. The last airstrike, they dropped vacuum bombs on us and destroyed all of the buildings.

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Iranian Jews Celebrate Bar-Mitzvah in...
Tehran
By Alireza Firouzi
17 Jul 2014

Tehran, Iran

An Iranian-Jewish family celebrates the Bar Mitzvah for their oldest son in Tehran's largest synagogue. Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East outside of Israel. Today, nearly ten thousand Jews live in Iran. Iran's Jewish community is officially recognized as a religious minority by the government and have their own seat in the Iranian parliament. Their cultural institutions remain strong in the country with a network of schools, hospitals, libraries, and seminaries.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 01
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
28 Apr 2014

Only a few thousand Jews have remained in the port city of Mariupol. A mere 12 Kilometers East of the city fighting rages between pro-Russian separatists and volunteer battalions struggling to keep the town of Shirokino. The Chabad Lubavitch organization tries to keep track of its members still within the city while providing help to these various Jewish families in need.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 02
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
28 Apr 2014

Only a few thousand Jews have remained in the port city of Mariupol. A mere 12 Kilometers East of the city fighting rages between pro-Russian separatists and volunteer battalions struggling to keep the town of Shirokino. The Chabad Lubavitch organization tries to keep track of its members still within the city while providing help to these various Jewish families in need.

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Mariupol's Jewish Community 03
Mariupol, Ukraine
By Jonathan Alpeyrie
28 Apr 2014

Mariupol Jewish community member Natasha Ralko, whose windows were blown out while she was sitting in the living room of her apartment with her daughter and 8-month-old infant, and whose kitchen is now heavily damaged, believes the death toll in eastern Ukraine is much higher than reported.

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Caliber 3 - 1
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Sign at the entrance of Caliber 3 Academy in West Bank area of Gush Etzyon. It was established in 2002 by Col. Sharon Gat. Caliber 3 works in close cooperation with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the field of counter-terrorism. The place is dedicated to Capt. Hagai Hayim Lev, a 24 years old Israeli soldier killed in 2002 during a military operation in southern Gaza Strip.

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Caliber 3 - 3
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

A group of Israeli trainees praying during a course for becoming security guards on the light train in Jerusalem

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Caliber 3 - 4
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Professional team of Caliber 3 during a demonstration of a V.I.P. protection operation

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Caliber 3 - 5
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Mary from Fishers, Indiana, during a shooting session with a hand gun. She came with all her family to have a unique experience in Israel. They came just for fun and they thoroughly enjoyed it.

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Caliber 3 - 6
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Eitan Cohen, Combat and Krav Maga instructor, during a basic shooting training session with a group of American and Russian tourists.

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Caliber 3 - 7
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

One of the three shooting rangea at Caliber 3 Academy, in the West Bank area of Gush Etzyon.

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Caliber 3 - 9
Gush Etzyon, Israel
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Professional team of Caliber 3 during a demonstration of a V.I.P. protection operation.

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Caliber 3 - 8
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

Eitan Cohen, Combat and Krav Maga instructor, during a basic shooting training session with a group of American and Russian tourists.

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Caliber 3 - 10
Gush Etzyon
By giulianocamarda
04 Nov 2013

A group of Israeli young men during a Krav Maga lesson. Krav Maga is a self-defense system developed for military in Israel and Hungary that consists of a wide combination of techniques sourced from boxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun, Judo, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling, along with realistic fight training.