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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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Wedding in Palestine
Bethlehem, West Bank
By Andrea Falletta
23 Mar 2017

Wedding in Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine, a young couple get married in a traditional way in Palestine territory.

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The Palestinian National Security Force
Jericho
By Ibrahim Husseini
02 May 2015

May 2, 2015
Palestine, West Bank

The Palestinian National Security Force put on a display of its tactical abilities at a public event in Jericho on May 2, 2015.

The contributor of this video provided the following description of the event:

“The Palestinian Authority is very interested in conveying a positive image to the Palestinian public about its security forces. This is to counter an ever increasing negative perception among ordinary Palestinians towards the PA for coordinating on security matters with the Israelis.

The PA wanted to show us through experience what it is like to be a member of the NSF.They wanted us to know full well, and to tell the world, that their men and women are well disciplined, conditioned and motivated to carry orders when given.

However what struck me the most is the moral of the men and women and their motivation. They see themselves as a nucleus of a regular Palestinian army and not just a mere special force to carry on an arrest. One member of the NSF alluded to the second Intifada and at the time when the Israeli army stormed the center of Ramallah and laid seige on the Presidential compound where Arafat was taking residence. It was as if he was saying this won't happen again. There was also a feeling of bitterness and resentment over the Israeli army incursions into Palestinian towns and cities.
Members of the NSF speak of themselves as if they were a border force in charge of defending borders of Palestine. Of course we cannot help but ask ourselves where do these borders lie.

I asked the Colonel in charge of media affairs about challenges. His reply was the "Israeli occupation" as the most direct challenge and obstacle to advance this force. He cited restrictions on procuring technology and equipment. To make a point about the various restrictions the Colonel talked about donors' refusal to fund a canine unit and how this unit was founded despite lack of funding.”

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Palestinians Commemorate Land Day on ...
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
01 Apr 2015

Palestinians from across the West Bank and Israel gathered in confiscated Palestinian villages, on both side of the 1967 Greenline, to commemorate Land Day. Land Day is seen as a day of resistance action in defense of Palestinian land. Annual Land Day events are held by Palestinian communities within the State of Israel, in the occupied territories, and in the Palestinian diaspora.

 

Land Day events in 2015 included a 'return march' by the community-in-exile of Lifta, many of whom today remain only a kilometer or two from their original homes. Today there remains a small but very active community-in-exile of Lifta's refugees in East Jerusalem, and it was this group, under the banner of their community grassroots organisation 'Sons of Lifta' who spent Land Day inside their home village. Although many of the village's houses remain intact and the refugees live only a ten minute journey away, they are denied their rights to return to live in the vilage by the State of Israel.

 

Land day first started on March 30,1976, when mass demonstrations broke out among Palestinian communities in the State of Israel in protest at an Israeli state plan to confiscate 20,000 dunums (2,000 hectares) of land around the Palestinian villages of Sakhnin and Arraba in the Galilee. This was one of the first examples of mass coordinated action being carried out by Palestinian citizens of Israel. Protests were held from the Galilee in the north all the way to the Negev (known as the 'Naqab' to Palestinians) in the south. Over the course of the day 6 Palestinians were shot dead and more than 100 were injured. Ever since these events, Palestinians have commemorated March 30th as 'Land Day', or 'Yom al-Ard' in Arabic.

 

In Another Land Day event, activists in the village of Wadi Fukin in the West Bank attempted to plant 350 olive tree saplings on land that is threatened with expropriation by the expansion of the Israeli settlement of Sur Hadassah. All Israeli settlements within the 1967 occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) are illegal under international law. Before more than a handful of trees could be planted in Wadi Fukin, Israeli soldiers rained clouds or tear gas on to the activists bringing the Land Day event to an abrupt halt. For Palestinians, Land Day is an important annual event which brings together many thousands of Palestinians across historic Palestine in the defence of Palestinian land.

 

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Land Day R
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

As the Land Day action is brought to an abrupt halt in Wadi Fukin, the majority of the 350 olive tree saplings remain unplanted outside a house in the village after activists were forced to escape from clouds of tear gas that was fired by Israeli soldiers.
Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

A Palestinian child watches from a rooftop in Wadi Fukin as Israeli soldiers fire rounds of tear gas at fleeing activists during a tree planting event to mark Land Day. In the background stands the huge Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit which is built partly on the land of Wadi Fukin.
Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine. March 30 2015.

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Land Day 19
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

Two elderly Palestinian women attempt to make their way down the hill in Wadi Fukin to escape from the tear gas that is being fired by Israeli forces.

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

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Land Day 20
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

An Israeli security helicopter circles above Wadi Fukin during the olive tree planting event to commemorate Palestinian Land Day on March 30th 2015.

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

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Land Day 21
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
30 Mar 2015

Israeli soldiers line up on a hill top in Wadi Fukin as Palestinian activists watch from a distance during an olive tree planting event 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 4
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

350 olive trees were brought to Wadi Fukin to be planted on the lands threatened by settlement expansion.

Wadi Fukin, West Bank, Palestine, March 30 2105.

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Land Day 5
Wadi Fukin
By Rich Wiles
29 Mar 2015

Activists make their way up a hill toward land that is threatened by the expansion of the Sur Haddasah settlement. In the background, the huge Beitar Illit settlement is also built on the land of Wadi Fukin.

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

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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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Resisting Israel With Palestinian Tra...
Bethelehm
By Muamar Orabi
25 Feb 2015

Maha al-Saqqa has worked for the past 30 years in making traditional Palestinian costumes. She recently started in Bethlehem a center for Palestinian heritage, which showcases the traditional embroidery craft.

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Trees of Protest in the West Bank
Beit Ummar
By Ibrahim Hamouz
02 Feb 2015

Palestinian villagers plant olive trees on land confiscated by Israeli settlers near the village of Beit Ummar in the occupied West Bank. The trees are a symbolic protest to ongoing Israeli policies of land confiscation and illegal Jewish settlement.

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Palestinian and Israeli Activists Est...
Ziad Abu Ein
By Ibrahim Hamouz
24 Jan 2015

January 23, 2015 Palestinian and Israeli activists protest Israeli land confiscation and Jewish only settlement policies in the West Bank by establishing a new village on confiscated land. The village was named after killed Palestinian activist Ziad Abu Ein.

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Christian and Muslim Palestinians Pro...
Hebron
By Ibrahim Hamouz
23 Jan 2015

Christian and Muslim Palestinians in the West Bank city of Hebron protest what they view as the offensive depictions of the prophet Mohammed on the front page of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Included in the march was Archbishop Attalah Hannah from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem and Sheikh Hatem al-Bakri, the head of the Islamic Charitable Society of Hebron.

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After the Punishment: Home Demolition...
Silwan
By Ibrahim Husseini
24 Dec 2014

In Jerusalem, the Israeli Army has been destroying the family homes of militants as a form of collective punishment. This story explores what happens to those families after they have lost their home.

Article:

Text by Youssef Zbib

In October, 21-year-old Abdel Rahman Shalodi drove his car into a light rail train station on a line that connects Israeli settlements in Jerusalem. He killed a baby and a woman from Ecuador and wounded at least seven other people. This act was part of a recent series of attacks against Israelis, fueled in part by a religious conflict over the ownership of the holy site that Israelis call the Temple Mount and to which Palestinians refer as the Noble Sanctuary.
In retaliation for the attack, the Israeli government ordered the destruction of the Shalodi family’s apartment unit, located in the Silwan neighborhood near the disputed old center of Jerusalem. His mother, father and five siblings, are now without a home.

"Right now we are living in my brother-in-law’s apartment. He is in Jordan now and will come back in five months,” said Enas Shalodi, Abdel Rahman’s 43-year-old mother.

“We can only use the living room and one bedroom in the apartment in which we are staying, so the situation is a little difficult. Some of my children sleep at their grandmother's and some sleep here," she added.

The Israeli police have not left the family alone since the demolition. Police officers interrupted a reporter’s interview with Enas to inspect the apartment, something which has happened repeatedly since the family moved into their temporary residence.
“They came here when we moved in and said that we are not allowed to stay. [They show up whenever] a reporter comes here,”Enas said while her teenage daughter Nebras spoke with the police officers.

“The [Israeli police] are also threatening to demolish the home where we are staying now, which belongs to my brother-in-law (…) Since the demolition, approximately 34 days ago, they broke in here about 10 times,” Enas said.

Enas’s daughter Nebras finds it hard to deal with the family’s difficult circumstances.
“We have no computer, no TV, no devices and the house is too small. It is not enough," Nebras said.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has labeled the demolition of the family homes of militants as a “war crime.”
“Justifying punishment of people who are not responsible for a criminal act just because they might ‘support’ it would set a dangerous precedent which could come back to haunt Israelis,” reads a statement issued by HRW in November 2014. Israeli critics of this policy, on the other hand, argue that it is ineffective because, as figures show, the number of attacks by Palestinians against Israel increases following house demolitions.

Demolition to expand settlements

In addition to demolishing homes as a punitive measure, Israeli authorities also destroy Palestinian homes built without a permit. Palestinians in the West Bank, however, usually cannot obtain such permits even if they apply for them.
According to the pro-peace Israeli monitoring group B’Tselem, Israel has demolished 545 houses that belong to Palestinians in east Jerusalem between 2004 and 2014. This has made 2,115 people homeless. Some people take down their homes with their own hands in order to avoid paying demolition charges to Israeli authorities, according to the organization’s official website.
The Zeer family, made up of a mother, a father and five children, now lives in a cave after Israeli authorities razed their house twice, without giving them a clear explanation.
“Sometimes they [Israeli authorities] claim that this is an agricultural area. At other times they claim that we do not a have a [building] permit,” said 40-year-old Khalid al-Zeer. “It seems that they want to uproot us and ethnically cleanse the original inhabitants from this land and move in settlers that they have gathered from around the world.” The small community of Israeli settlers in Silwan has recently expanded as dozens of them moved into the neighborhood in October, with the help of a right-wing organization called Ateret Kohanim that promotes Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem. The organization considers this influx a legitimate return to a village established by Yemenite Jews in the 1880s known in Hebrew as Kfar Hashiloah, which disappeared in the 1920s.
Eli Hazan, a member of the Israeli Likud party, defended his government’s policy of building settlements in the West Bank.
“We are going to stay in [the West Bank], therefore we are going to build in these places,” Hazan said. “We remember what happened from 1948 to 1967. Jews could not go to East Jerusalem. They could not go to the Western Wall and Mount of Olives.”

From the Palestinian point of view, however, this will only lead to more grief.

“This suffering and the suffering of every Jerusalemite will not be over until the end of the occupation,” said Enas Shalodi.

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No Payroll in Gaza
Gaza
By Yasser Abu Wazna
16 Dec 2014

(01:00 -01:46)

(Man, Arabic)

Mohamad Tahoun

I am Mohamad Ahmed Abu Tahoun, I work in sanitation in al-Nasr children hospital. We have been on a strike for 8 days. And until now nothing is being said about the salaries.

As you can see our situation, nobody is helping us, if we find food we cook, if not we count of God. In our family, 3 men work in sanitation, and we have two handicaps to take care of. But we have not been paid for almost 4 months. Our situation is bad.

(02:09)

(Woman, Arabic)

Cherine tahoun

Interviewer: What is your name?

Cherine Tahoun: my name is cherine

Interviewer: what is your last name?

Cherine Tahoun: Tahoun

Interviewer: How old are you? 16, 26?

Cherine Tahoun: Yes

Interviewer: where did you learn embroidery?

Cherine Tahoun: at school

Interviewer: This is all your work? show us

(02:55-04:13)

(Woman, arabic)

Suzanne

I am Suzanne, Mohamad's wife, we are three sisters married to three brothers. My eldest sister got married to Rafi Abu Tahoun, and four years later, I married Mohamad, and then my youngest sister married Iyad, about two years ago.

We are technically living together now, we used to live separately, but now, and because of the situation, we had to live together.

With the salary of 700 shekel, we used to barely be able to manage, but now when we no longer receive the 700 shekel, our situation is terrible. let alone the fact that we have handicaps, we also have children in schools. They need allowances, books, stationary. It is a very hard position that we are in. I hope that when winter comes, things will be easier for us, I hate winter now, because of the cold and the leaking that happen into the house.

I graduated from the university in 2008, and until now, I did not get a job in any domain and i did not even receive an unemployment allowance. in god's will if I find a job, our situation will definitely improve.

(05:01-05:48)

(Man, Arabic)

Iyad Tahoun

My name is Iyad Ahmed Mohamad Abu Tahoun, I work in the sanitation company, and they have not been paying us for 4 months. My son needs medications every week. any we cannot pay, even the supermarket owner is not allowing us to take stuff and pay later. We had to take things from the pharmacy and the supermarket and promise to pay later, but our debt grew and the supermarket owner told me to pay my debt in order to keep giving us things.

The government in Gaza is blaming the government of the West Bank and the other way around.

I hope that the officials can find a solution to our problem. because we can no longer handle the situation.

(09:13-09:37)

(Man, Arabic)

Rafi Tahoun

She suffered from a stroke about two months ago, stayed in the hospital for a while and then we took her home, they improved for a while but recently her situation got worst. She cannot eat unless we use a syringe. Most of our stuff we get on the intention to pay later, or from people who offer help sometimes.

(09:39-09:59)

(Woman, Arabic)

We need lots of things,we need tissues, two boxes everyday, they cost 5 Shekel. and we need diapers every week, they cost 28 shekel, and there is no payment, no salaries, we get all of the things that we need, including food, with debt. The situation is difficult, as you can see.

(10:00-10:25)

(Man, Arabic)

Rafi Tahoun

The sanitation situation in the hospital is bad, there are volunteers, but it is not the same as when we used to work here . They collect the trash and that is it, they do not sanitize what needs to be sanitized.

(12:54-16:23)

(Man, Arabic)

Official

The sanitation workers used to be paid by the government formed by Hamas, but now since the government is one, it is al-Hamdallah government, and is responsible for Gaza and the West Bank, It is responsible for all the education, sanitation and all the other cases. We are not talking about a strike for government employees, we are talking about a strike for private companies employees. those employees work according to contracts were signed in the era of the government of Hamas, and now al-Hamdallah government should be responsible to pay for them.

The political issue between Hamas and Fateh should not be related to the responsibilities of the government. The government should be responsible in Gaza the same way it is responsible in the West Bank.

The government is not doing its duties even though al-Hamdallah visited Gaza, and there are 4 functioning minsters in Gaza, but it is not doing its duties, and that is why the citizens are stressed. The problem of health, unemployment and many others in gaza should be the responsibility of the government.

Hamas requested from the people to volunteer until the problem is solved.

There is no good reason for not paying the employees, employees in other sectors are being paid. the employees have the right to practice all kinds of pressuring methods in order to get their rights, and it has been 6 months of struggling without a solution for this problem.

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Palestine: When a School is Illegal
Khan al-Ahmar
By Vinciane Jacquet
14 Nov 2014

November 16, 2014
Khan al Ahmar, West Bank, Palestine

The Khan al-Ahmar School serves the children of the Jahalin Bedouin community in the West Bank and has been declared illegal by Israeli authorities. It is now facing possible demolition. Built in 2009, the school was constructed with mud and tires due to a lack of funds and an Israeli law that bans Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank from building structures made of cement. The children now attend school in poorly equipped classrooms with no heating, leaking ceilings, and little electricity. However, it is possible that even this primitive learning environment could be snatched from them at a moment's notice. Over 140 students are currently enrolled in the school. The nearest alternative school is located about 45 minutes away by car. The school's imminent demolition is part of a plan by Israeli authorities to displace the Jahalin Bedouin living in "Area C" of the occupied West Bank. The Khan Al-Ahmar School and Bedouin community is located in the Jerusalem periphery, between the Israeli settlements of Ma'ale Adumim and Kfar Adumim. While the Jahalin Bedouin have a longstanding presence in this area (they settled in the area in 1948, after being evicted by Israel from their lands in the Negev desert), the community and school present an obstacle to Israel's planned settlement expansion and construction of the separation barrier. The community lives with the constant threat of displacement. Every year, the school administration goes to court in order to postpone the planned demolition of the school. This year they were lucky and the court sided with them. However, the order still stands and next year they may not be so lucky.

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West Bank Bedouins Face Eviction
Tubas
By Seth Herald
15 Oct 2014

October 16, 2014
Tubas, Jordan Valley, West Bank

The Tuobas region of the northern Jordan Valley is home to around 600 Bedouin families, all of them sheep herders and farmers, who are now being slowly forced off their land by encroaching Israeli settlements and military installations. Bedouins throughout the Central West Bank and the Jordan Valley face what is known as a “ Push Factor”, in which restrictions of movement are imposed, dictating where they can graze their animals, and permits to build solid structure housing are routinely rejected. The bedouin, some %60 of them children, currently live in tents without running water and working electricity. They instead rely on solar power for their basic needs. Having witnessed settler violence and having been targeted during Israeli military training, the bedouin of the Northern Jordan Valley lead a rough life, "Everyday they are building new houses and a university and always increasing but we can't build anything. One day the soldiers and settlers came to us and said: ‘as far as my eyes can see I’d like it to be without you there'", explained bedouin shepherd Mohammed Awad. According to UN OCHA, 540,000 Israelis settlers live in the West Bank settlements, which were built illegally and against international law. They receive preferential treatment in terms of the allocation of land and the planning and provision of services. With the forceful relocation and mass evictions of Bedouin communities, up to 12,000 families will be moved to the dedicated relocation site. Bedouins could face a difficult time learning to coupe with each other, as each group holds it own way of life and traditions.

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Qalandiya Festival: Celebrating Pales...
West Bank
By adrian
08 Oct 2014

October 2014,
West Bank, Palestine

The second 'Qalandiya International' contemporary arts biennial drew to a close on Thursday 13 November after nearly a month of exhibitions, performances, installations, conferences and film screenings. Held in cities across 'Historic Palestine', the festival brought together more than 100 Palestinian and international artists to respond to issues relating to Palestinian life, politics and history. Over recent years, various Palestinian contemporary artists have been the recipients of major international awards. Amongst others, Emily Jacir won the Golden Lion at the 2007 Venice Biennial and Mona Hattoum was awarded the Prize Joan Miro in Barcelona in 2011. Earlier, critically acclaimed Palestinian film-maker Elia Suleiman had won the Jury Prize at the 2002 Cannes Film festival. Despite the ever-growing international profile of Palestinian contemporary arts, Qalandiya International is one of the first attempts to launch a regular contemporary arts festival within Palestine itself. Taking place amidst ongoing violence in Jerusalem and following soon after the killing of more than 2000 Palestinians over the summer in Gaza, it was unsure at one stage whether the festival should go ahead as planned. Yet organisers decided to push ahead in the spirit of 'sumoud' (steadfastness), and to some people these artistic interventions continued to demonstrate the significant role that Palestinian art and culture has played in the context of resistance since the days of Ghassan Kanafani, Mahmoud Darwish and Naji al-Ali.

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Art as Resistance in Palestine
Palestine
By Rich Wiles
06 Oct 2014

Arts and culture have always figured significantly within the wider context of Palestinian resistance. People such as Mahmoud Darwish, Ghassan Kanafani and Naji al-Ali took Palestine to the world through their art many decades ago, and their work - shaped heavily by the Palestinian experience of exile - lives on today.

Cultural aspects of resistance have developed over the decades and traditional practices of poetry, literature and dabke are now accompanied by street art, hip hop, modern dance and contemporary art. New styles and practices have evolved - often influenced by today's globalized world - but in many ways still maintaining a distinctly Palestinian edge.

Whilst links between Darwish's poetry or Naji al-Ali's immortal 'Handala' and today's hip hop groups or street artists may not seem immediate to the uninformed, the context is shaped by the same core issues. The Palestinian story of exile and the struggle against it remain a constant and inherent focus of Palestinian arts and cultural practice today, much as it did amongst earlier practitioners who had themselves lived, and survived the Nakba.

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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.