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PHOTOS: Palestinians visit beach during Eid al-Adha holiday

A few times a year, the Israeli army gives Palestinians tens of thousands of entry permits and thousands of Palestinians see the sea for the first time.

Photos by Oren Ziv/Activestills.org

Palestinian women watch their relatives swim in the sea just north of Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org) Women are more likely to receive entry permits from Israeli military authorities, young men are often excluded from holiday permits.

Palestinian women watch their relatives swim in the sea just north of Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org) Women are more likely to receive entry permits from Israeli military authorities, young men are often excluded from holiday permits.

Most of the West Bank is no more than an hour’s drive from the beach, but the Palestinians who live there cannot visit the Mediterranean without a special permit from the Israeli army. Those permits are usually difficult to come by.

A few times a year, however, the army issues large numbers of entry permits to West Bank Palestinians, mostly during Muslim holidays. During the Eid al-Adha holiday this week, for example, the army issued 100,000 permits to Palestinians valid from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to AFP. For many, it is their first opportunity to swim in the sea.

Many Palestinians were expelled from towns and cities inside Israel before and during the 1948 war, others temporarily fled the fighting but were not allowed to return once it ended. Jaffa, which was one of the largest Palestinian cities and economic centers before the war, was depopulated of the vast majority of its Palestinian residents.

During Muslim holidays in which the Israeli army allows Palestinians to enter Israel, like Ramadan and Eid al-Edha, thousands make the journey to Jaffa to hold barbecues along the shore and enjoy the beach and sea. Others head to Haifa and Acre in the north of the country.

Although Jaffa still has a significant Palestinian population, it has a Jewish majority today and is in the process of rapid gentrification that is leading to the displacement of more and more Palestinian residents.

Palestinians from West Bank swim in the sea just north of Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinians from West Bank swim in the sea just north of Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Young Palestinian men perform a traditional dabke dance on the beach in Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Young Palestinian men perform a traditional dabke dance on the beach in Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Young Palestinian men dance on the beach in Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Young Palestinian men dance on the beach in Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Young Palestinian men gather in a square to perform the dabke dance on the beach in Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Young Palestinian men gather in a square to perform the dabke dance on the beach in Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian families watch the sunset at the beach north of Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian families watch the sunset at the beach north of Jaffa during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian women and children wade in the sea during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org) The Old City of Jaffa is seen in the background.

Palestinian women and children wade in the sea during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org) The Old City of Jaffa is seen in the background.

Palestinian women take a selfie on the beach north of Jaffa during Eid al-Adha as two Israeli surfers exit the water, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian women take a selfie on the beach north of Jaffa during Eid al-Adha as two Israeli surfers exit the water, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Palestinian women and children wade in the sea during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org) The Old City of Jaffa is seen in the background.

Palestinian women and children wade in the sea during Eid al-Adha, September 14, 2016. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org) The Old City of Jaffa is seen in the background.

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    COMMENTS

    1. i_like-ike52

      Note the contrast between this idyllic scene of Palestinians visiting a presumably “racist Zionist” Jewish beach in Tel Aviv, and the two Israeli women soldiers who took a wrong turn into Tulkarem and were nearly lynched.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Bruce Gould

      @I_Like_Ike: http://www.btselem.org/firearms/20160914_killing_of_iyad_hamed

      “Soldier killed Iyad Hamed in Silwad though he posed no danger to anyone…”

      We can trade this stuff back and forth forever, but the reality is that the 6 million Jews and 6 million Palestinians of Greater Israelistine aren’t going anywhere. One state, two states or apartheid?

      Reply to Comment
    3. Bill Owen

      Thank you for the hasbara

      Reply to Comment
    4. Ramon

      Wonderful to see these Palestinians enjoying themselves and smiling and laughing. Prisoners in their own land. They should have the same rights to Statehood, self-determination, and the freedoms to move about in their own land. I hope that day comes soon for them. Inshallah. Eid Mubarek! ☮?

      Reply to Comment
    5. R5

      And every year they leave the place littered with garbage. But that’s only “north of Jaffa” so who cares right?

      Reply to Comment