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Palestinian refugees

  • New VR app circumvents Israel's travel bans, takes viewers across Palestine

    Palestine VR offers virtual tours across six regions in the West Bank and Gaza, allowing viewers to ‘see the reality on the ground’ themselves. By Jaclynn Ashly Israel’s separation wall snakes around Bethlehem’s Aida refugee camp in the West Bank. Solidarity graffiti is spray-painted all over the concrete slabs. Black water tanks, some of which are riddled with bullet holes, dot the roofs of the tightly-compacted homes. A military watchtower, equipped with a surveillance camera, protrudes from the barrier. [tmwinpost] “For people who have never visited a refugee camp, they might have an image that it’s just rows of tents,” said…

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  • Returning to Yaffa, but only as a ‘tourist’

    It is hours — days, weeks, maybe some months if we’re fortunate — before my permit expires, when I would have to make my way back to the West Bank, or else Israel will deem my presence in my own ancestral city ‘illegal.’ By Mariam Barghouti If I were given a dollar for the number of times diplomats, journalists, activists, and policy-makers have asked me “Have you thought about speaking with Israelis?” I could buy myself a chateau in Yaffa. [tmwinpost] I choose Yaffa because that question rings loudly in my head whenever I visit the city. It is where…

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  • What do Palestinians in Gaza really think about the Israeli elections?

    On the eve of the elections, four young Palestinians in Gaza open up about their thoughts on Israeli political parties, whether they think there's hope for change, and what life is like under siege.  By Yuval Abraham Muhammad The electricity cuts out at 2pm in Gaza, but Muhammad has charged his phone in advance so he’ll have enough battery for our conversation. I call him on Facebook Video, and when he answers, he’s wearing a white vest and dripping with sweat. “Is it this hot where you are too?” he laughs, and I nod, look over at the fan in my room. [tmwinpost] I’ve…

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  • Displaced again: Palestinian refugees from Syria struggle to survive in Gaza

    With surging unemployment rates and high rents, Palestinian refugees who fled the Syrian war for Gaza are struggling to climb out of poverty. Like many Gazans, they hope to leave the strip in search of a better life. By Amjad Yaghi In mid-2012, Egyptian police arrested Omar Odeh for violating the conditions of his residence permit and overstaying his visa. After realizing he was a Palestinian refugee from Syria, they deported him to Gaza. Today he is one of hundreds of Palestinian refugees from Syria who fled the civil war there only to find hardly-endurable living conditions in the strip. [tmwinpost] Odeh, 63, is originally from the…

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  • My Palestinian sitty embodies the humanity Israel tries to deny us

    My grandmother is not just a beacon of warmth and love. Not just my first best friend. She is a survivor. She is the compass that points to justice. By Nooran Alhamdan My grandmother was my first best friend. As soon as I'd be dropped off at her house, almost daily, the hotheaded and spoiled four-year-old me would change to well behaved and bubbly. [tmwinpost] My teta, grandmother in Arabic, would sit me by her side while she meticulously rolled tiny stuffed grape leaves on the large dining room table. She would turn on the Arabic pop channel for me…

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  • How I learned to stop worrying and acknowledge the Nakba

    For more than seven decades, Israelis haven't been able to come to terms with the consequences of the Nakba. To do so, they'll have to confront the hard truths about 1948, and shed their moral superiority. By Michal Talya The first time I ever heard a testimony about the Nakba was nearly two decades ago from a Bedouin man named Khalil who lived in the Negev/Naqab. I remember how difficult it was for me to believe that he was speaking the truth. In fact, I was convinced that as he told stories of cruelty meted out by both Israeli soldiers and policymakers,…

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  • Palestinians are holding weddings, baptisms, burials in villages destroyed by Israel

    Third-generation survivors of the Nakba are returning to the churches in the villages Israel destroyed in 1948 to hold religious ceremonies. By Suha Arraf Just over two weeks ago, Khaled Bisharat, son of famed journalist and author Odeh Bisharat, was married in a church in the village of Ma’alul. It was a wedding like any other, apart from one fact: Ma’alul, which lies just four miles southwest of Nazereth, was destroyed by Israel in the 1948 war, and most of its displaced residents fled to the town of Yafa an-Naseriyye. The wedding is part of a trend: third-generation survivors of the Nakba…

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  • Don’t wait for Israeli archives to prove what Palestinians already know

    Israeli authorities are deliberately concealing historical documents to undermine evidence of the state's dark and violent origins. And the world is still falling for it. The village of Safsaf (“willow” in Arabic) appears on page 490 of the newest edition of Walid Khalidi’s All That Remains, a seminal book that catalogues 418 Palestinian communities that were destroyed and depopulated during the Nakba. A Palestinian eyewitness account describes the day when Zionist forces conquered the village and rounded up its residents in October 1948: As we lined up, a few Jewish soldiers ordered four girls to accompany them to carry water for…

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  • Confederation can't answer the most important issue in Israel-Palestine

    Any framework that comes to replace the two-state solution must aspire toward decolonization, and accept that Zionism and full civic equality are irreconcilable. Changes on the ground over the past decade have allowed Israel to consolidate its rule between the river and the sea. While the final nail in the two-state coffin was hammered long ago, many international stakeholders are only now beginning to sing its requiem. In this seemingly new vacuum, without a clear path forward, some are reaching for alternative frameworks that could possibly establish — dare I say it — peace. [tmwinpost] In a recent episode of…

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  • The Israeli academics who helped design Palestinian emigration

    Newly-uncovered documents reveal how Israel established the 'Professors Committee' in the days following the occupation to devise policies to pacify the Palestinians and make them leave the West Bank and Gaza permanently. Mere weeks after nearly tripling the size of Israeli controlled territory in the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel enlisted teams of academics in the country to find ways to encourage Palestinians to emigrate from the newly occupied territories. According to documents recently uncovered by by Omri Shafer Raviv, a PhD student in the Department of Jewish History at Hebrew University, in July 1967, then Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol assembled a committee of academics including prominent Israeli…

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  • PODCAST: The other two-state solution

    The two-state solution may be dead but that doesn’t mean the dream of a Palestinian state is too. The +972 Podcast takes a deep dive into confederation. Listen here: iTunes/Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify     Is the two-state solution really dead? Who knows if it ever will be. But an equitable one-state solution isn’t a given, and there are other models out there for creating a Palestinian state. Confederation keeps the basic idea of two states but without separation between them. Borders are open and meant to facilitate movement instead of hinder it. Palestinians and Israelis alike can live anywhere between the…

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  • PODCAST: The other Palestinian march of return

    The +972 Podcast heads to the destroyed village of Khubbeiza to hear what Nakba Day means to different people, including Palestinians internally displaced in Israel. Every year for over two decades, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel have marked Nakba Day by marching to the site of a different village that was depopulated and destroyed during the Nakba. While the story of Palestinian refugees — 700,000 of whom were driven out or fled in 1948 — is relatively well known, we rarely speak of those who were internally displaced during the war. These families remained in what became Israel but were…

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  • The story of my family's Nakba

    How strange is it to see the events that defined the lives of three generations of my family as a mere paragraph in a book? How strange is it to discover that your family’s lived experience is considered merely a footnote on the pages of history? By Nooran Alhamdan It is a sweet July night, with the smell of citrus heavy in the air. The sound of women ululating and laughter echoes through the hills. The center of the village of Qazaza is a celebration, with men jovially drinking bitter coffee and children chasing after one another. My grandfather was…

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