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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
17 Sep 2014

September, 18, 2014
Lifta, Israel

Construction of a new project has already begun at the bottom of the village. Officially, authorization has not been given by the courts to demolish the village. However, it has been said that the construction is part of a new railway line between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. Some say that the new railway will not affect Lifta, while others are not so sure.

The Israeli government has been battling with the courts to destroy the village for the past 20 years in order to make way for new luxury hotels, housing units, a shopping mall, a museum and a recreation park.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
17 Sep 2014

September, 18, 2014
Lifta, Israel

Yacoub Odeh lived with his family in Lifta. His home is still there. The roof of his home was completely blown up by the Israeli Army in 1969, and the remains of the house are visible in the background, immediately to Yacoub's right.

He remembers a childhood of gardens, olive groves, and races with the other children to arrive first at school in the upper part of the village.

In 1967, he was arrested for "resistance" and spent 17 years in jail. The Israeli army destroyed his house as punishment.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
17 Sep 2014

September, 18, 2014
Lifta, Israel

View of the lower part of the village.

Lifta was an important strategic location for the Israelis because it was the western gate to Jerusalem. Israel started to expel Lifta's inhabitants in November 1947 by first threatening the inhabitants. The women and children fled, while the men remained. The village was then attacked by Israeli forces during the 1948 war and the rest of the men were either killed, arrested, or expelled.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Sep 2014

September, 16, 2014
Lifta, Israel

The entrance of one of the two old schools in Lifta. Now, people come to the village to cool down and often use the schools to have a barbecue. The remnants of charcoal from a barbecue can be seen on the right.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Sep 2014

September, 16, 2014
Lifta, Israel

Marina El-Ghoul is a Palestinian from Gaza. Her family fled when she was 2 and she has been raised in the United States. She is about to go to Gaza again for the fist time to work there as an emergency responser. When she heard about the story of Lifta, she came down to the village and posed for a photograph to support the right to return. Written arabic on the wall: "Lifta is ours. We will come back".

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Sep 2014

September, 13, 2014
Lifta, Israel

A stone from the doorframe has been removed from one of Lifta's old houses. Regardless of the Israeli government's plan to demolish the village, Lifta is still endangered because people come to steal pieces of stone and floor tiles that are too expensive on the market.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
15 Sep 2014

September 16, 2014
Jerusalem, Israel

Jalal was born in Lifta. When he was 12, he had to leave the village with his family. He lived in the upper part of Lifta. His childhood home was demolished a long time ago to make room for an administrative building instead. He used to take his boys to Lifta, "to let them know it is their land". He says, "We have the right to be there. It is my land. It is not fair to bring other people from all over the world to my home. I want the right to return". The village of Lifta is situated in a rugged valley and is difficult to access. Therefore, Jalal cannot visit the village anymore.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
12 Sep 2014

September, 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

Young Israelis bathing in the former spring of Lifta.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
12 Sep 2014

September, 13, 2014
Lifta, Israel

In 1959, Israel considered Lifta a "national reserve". Since 1967, the Israeli army has been using the village for military exercises because the environment and rough, hilly terrain are similar to Lebanon. This also contributes to the continuing damage done to the village.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
12 Sep 2014

September, 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

A verse from a poem by Palestnian poet Mahmoud Darwish graffitied on a wall inside one of the old homes in Lifta. The verse reads, "This land deserves life."

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
12 Sep 2014

September, 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

A legend says that in the 1970's, Israeli art students rushed to the village because they had heard that the government was about to give it houses away for a very cheap price in order to turn it into an artists colony. Each student chose a house and painted his or her name on the wall outside. Here then name 'Gershtein', is written in big black letters, along with the date the date (here 30.05.7), and the word 'taken' to the left of date. The national archives are not accessible regarding this issue, so it is impossible to find out if the story has some truth to it or not.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
12 Sep 2014

September, 13, 2014
Lifta, Israel

Partial view of Lifta from an old house surrounded by barbed wire. The municipal council of Jerusalem said the barbed wire is a safety precaution used to keep people from entering what is said to be the unstable structure of the house.

However, some Palestinians feel the barbed wire is used to keep people from visiting the old houses.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
06 Sep 2014

September 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

The natural spring of the village is now a place where youth come to bath. Most of people who come to Lifta to enjoy the spring or the peaceful environment are Israeli. Here, a young Palestinian relaxes alone on the edge of the water.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
06 Sep 2014

September 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

An Israeli family enjoys a picnic in Lifta. When asked, they do not know about the story of the village. Only the youngest daughter, who did not want to appear in the photograph, mentioned that it was a Palestinian village. She said that the Palestinian people had to leave in order to give their homes to Jewish people, and that they are now asking for the right to return. Baffled by the story the mother asked, "But why can't they return?".

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
06 Sep 2014

September 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

In 1948, Jewish people, mostly from Yemen, arrived in Lifta to live in the Palestinian village. After leaving their lives in the countries of origin, they were disappointed with what they found in Lifta; a small, remote village, with little infrastructure.

At the end of 1964, when they saw Asheknazi Jews (Jews of European descent) living in nice "luxury" houses, the Jews of Lifta protested. In 1965, the government provided them with housing in Jerusalem. They were so happy to leave the village that they blew up the roofs of every house to ensure nobody will ever return.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
06 Sep 2014

September 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

Ilan Shtayer is an Israeli Jew. He is a member of the association "Save Lifta" and fights for the preservation of the village. He is also a former fighter in the Israeli army and is now a member of "Combatants for Peace", an Israeli-Palestinian organization comprised of former Israeli soldiers who demand an end to the occupation of Palestinian land.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
06 Sep 2014

September 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

Before 1948, the village of Lifta had 500 houses with about 3.000 inhabitants. Half of them were in the upper part of the village, the other half in the lower part, which still remains. The upper part has already been demolished. On the left, the center, and the right of the photograph, three old houses from the former upper part of Lifta are still visible.

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Erasing palestine- historic village n...
By Vinciane Jacquet
06 Sep 2014

September 7, 2014
Lifta, Israel

One of the four olive presses used by the Palestinian inhabitants of Lifta. The family probably lived on the second floor.