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internally displaced

  • PHOTOS: In Gaza, rebuilding is still over the horizon

    With the humanitarian crisis more dire than ever before, the extreme need in Gaza continues to far outstrip the trickle of resources allowed to enter. Photos: Anne Paq/Activestills.org Text: Ryan Rodrick Beiler Click here for +972's full coverage of the Gaza war Following Israel's seven-week offensive last summer, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been forced to cope with living conditions much harsher than the aftermath of previous wars. As winter approaches, UN estimates that some 18,000 housing units remain either destroyed or severely damaged, rendering more than 108,000 people homeless. Eyewitnesses report that many of those without adequate shelter are…

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  • PHOTOS: Gaza's children face an uncertain future

    Israel's latest offensive on the Gaza Strip killed more than 500 children. Those who survive must endure ongoing trauma and displacement. Photos by Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by Anne Paq I visited Al Nada towers in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip after they were destroyed by Israeli strikes. The towers had 90 apartments, home to many families. Mohammed, an 11-year-old child, was sitting on top of rubble, waiting to go to school. As I was working on a series of images of destroyed bedrooms, I asked him to bring me to his home to show me…

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  • PHOTOS: Living in the ruins of a shattered Gaza neighborhood

    Palestinians struggle to survive among the rubble of their neighborhood, Shujaiyeh, which was leveled by Israeli shelling during last month's offensive. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by: Anne Paq A group of Palestinian men sit in one of the completely destroyed streets in Shujaiyeh, a neighborhood of east of Gaza City. In front of them, a huge area has been reduced to rubble. Water is flowing into the street as one of the pipes has been damaged. Some tried to dig to fix the pipes but did not manage. Palestinians are very ill-equipped to even clean the rubble,…

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  • PHOTOS: Gaza's half-million internally displaced

    Photos by: Basel Yazouri and Anne Paq/Activestills.org Text by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler The most commonly cited statistic from Gaza is the death toll, now rising past 1,814, according to UN figures. Such numbers can be numbing, as absorbing the reality of so many faces and names is impossible. Yet another staggering figure that is difficult to comprehend is the number of people displaced from their homes, which the UN estimates at 520,000. Gaza's half-million displaced residents are one of the most obvious refutations of the the accusation that Hamas uses "human shields." The Guardian has reported "large numbers of people fleeing…

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  • PHOTOS: Another day of destruction, death and displacement in Gaza

    The number of dead has reached at least 620 mostly civilian Palestinians and 31 Israelis, 29 of them soldiers. Another day in Gaza between bombed houses, destruction and displaced people. Photos by: Anne Paq and Basel Yazouri/Activestills.org Text by: Keren Manor               Related: Why do Palestinians continues to support Hamas despite such devastating losses? 'Finish the job' Palestinian human rights leader: 'Cast Lead was a joke compared to this'      

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  • PHOTOS: On Easter, Palestinians resurrect their destroyed village

    The Palestinian village of Irqit was depopulated in the 1948 war and then almost entirely razed. Now new generations of its original residents are trying to resurrect the town and realize a decades-old High Court ruling recognizing their right to return. Text and photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org It would seem that Israeli authorities conspired to intertwine the story of Iqrit with the Christian narrative. As the season of Advent approached in November 1948, the Israeli military forced residents of Iqrit and the neighboring village of Kufr Bir’im—all citizens of the newly created state of Israel—to leave their homes near…

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  • Authorities threaten displaced community's return to village

    The displaced Maronite community of Bir'em has decided to implement its right of return by resettling its land. Authorities have threatened to evict the villagers should they refuse to leave. Exactly one year ago, the displaced people of Iqrit decided that after 64 years of empty promises, they would wait no longer to return to their lands. Just last week, the villagers of Iqrit celebrated the first anniversary of their outpost built on confiscated lands, and announced plans to go on expanding their presence on the ground. Now it appears that Iqrit is not alone, as another displaced community on…

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  • Palestinians celebrate anniversary of return to destroyed village

    The displaced members of the village of Iqrit marked one year since their groundbreaking direct action: the return of the village youth to the village, the revival of its traditions and the strengthening of their hold on the land. Although they are now celebrating with friends and supporters, they fear a potential response from authorities. Every year for the past 18 years, the displaced Palestinian community of Iqrit has organized a summer camp on the expropriated lands of their village so that the younger generations, born in cities and towns elsewhere in Israel, will remember their heritage and continue the…

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  • Thousands join Palestinian March of Return on Israeli Independence Day

    The annual March of Return brought approximately 7,000 people to the destroyed village of Khubeizy on Israel's Independence Day. The march, which went through village lands and debris, now a national park, ended with a rally in which speakers called for the implementation of UN Resolution 194, recognizing the Palestinian refugees' right of return, and for the release of political prisoners. The march was organized by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Displaced People (ADRID), and was attended mostly by Palestinians with Israeli citizenship (dubbed "'48 Palestinians") and a few Jewish Israeli activists. Aside from the…

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  • Displaced Palestinians return to village after 64 years

    The third generation of the displaced community of Iqrit decided that they'd had enough of waiting for authorities to allow them to return to their village lands, taking matters into their own hands. Last August, they set up their base in a room adjacent to the old church and haven't left since. In 1948, the Christian Orthodox village of Iqrit surrendered to the IDF without a fight. When soldiers ordered residents to leave for two weeks for security reasons, considering the village is extremely close to the Lebanese boarder, nobody thought twice about it. Three years later, in July 1951,…

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  • Anti-Christian graffiti sprayed on church in destroyed Galilee village of Bir'em

    The internally displaced community of Bir'em found abusive graffiti, stars of David and the word 'revenge' sprayed on its church, graveyard and other buildings. Yet the act of vandalism is but one of the community's problems, as it continues its struggle for return. Last week, several days after they celebrated Christmas, the former residents of Bir'em discovered the graffiti, as well as flammable liquid that had been poured at the entrance of the Church of Our Lady in the village, which has been mostly demolished. As reported in Haaretz, the Committee for the Uprooted of Kafar Bir'em filed an official…

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