Ciarab's Blog


Day 2 in Palestine.
February 5, 2012, 2:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Day 2 in Palestine.

Had an amazing day yesterday in some of the harshest lands in Palestine. Joined the group Ta’ayush for a day of productive activities. Had an extremely interesting day. Met many Jewish Israeli’s who work with Palestinians and this was one of my first times working jointly with them. Some people might call this a form of normalisation however after spending the day with them, in my opinion working with them has many positive aspects. Many had very interesting views and ideals some which I agree with and others with whom I didn’t. But I won’t go into that now!

Whilst traveling to our destination it hit me, more so than before the blatant apartheid system of israel. In the last year and a half it was astonishing to witness first hand the increasing expanion of illegal settlements. New houses and outposts are popping up everywhere. It’s bloody disgusting to be letting israel away with this. We took the Israeli road route 60. This one of the only Israeli built roads that Palestinians can use however many times gates are not open so they must take secondary Palestinian roads.  Imagine not being able to use the road between Castlebar to Westport or Cork to Mallow and having to use secondary roads to get from A to B! It would take hours. This is life for Palestinians. Apartheid israel has devised a ‘cunning and devious plan’ according to one member of Ta’ayush to ethnically cleasne Palestinians from their land.

So we began the day in Umm Al-Khayr where a Palestinian home had been demolished in January by the israeli occupation forces (iof). The house was home to a Bedouin widow and her seven children whom have been transferred many times since 1948 to different areas of the South Hebron Hills. This community live in extreme conditions with little access to water. To make living conditions more unbearable the illegal carmel jewish settlement is just meters away from their homes. A road has been recently paved and next to it the iof have built a fence next to Umm Al-Khayr and not in the settlement. For obvious reasons, ‘this is an excuse to expand the ‘security zone’ of the settlement and thus the exclusion of Palestinians from yet another area’ (Ta’ayush). There are outposts also in the area where uber crazy zionist settlers live. Palestinians have been attacked daily by these settlers. Also, as this Palestinian community rely on their livestock for survival the expansion of settlements in the area makes grazing for their herd increasingly difficult. Members of Ta’ayush regularly escort Palestinians and their herds in order to deter the settlers from attacking Palestinians and their livestock. Most of the group spent the day with the Bedouin community clearing the demolished house in order to start rebuilding again. It is more than likely that when the house is rebuilt, the Bedouin community will be issued with yet another demolition order by the iof. Another form of ethnic cleansing of Palestinians by israel!

Whilst working in Umm Al-Khayr a member of Ta’ayush received a phone call to say that a group of joggers were being arrested by the iof close by. We decided to go there and witness events and to see if there was anything we could do. The group are mostly Americans who are running across Palestine raising money to assist Palestinian farmers and promote fair trade. However upon arriving, two French men had been arrested and earlier a Palestinian man was arrested. The Palestinian man is being charged by the iof for organising an illegal demonstration! So, now it is illegal to run on Palestinian land according to israel .. . . bloody comical. . . A link is here to the arrests: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym-9Nui9zFY&feature=youtu.be

We then returned to Umm Al-Khayr to finish work. We then proceeded to an area called Susiyeh again in the Hebron Hills. A road had been destroyed by jewish settlers and so work commenced to level out the road to allow young children to access their school. The school has also received a demolition order so a public meeting was held and concluded with cactus planting. Combatants for Peace, another organisation were also there planting. It was very interesting to speak to some members. Many were young ex-israeli military soldiers who had served in the israeli army and older members who have served in the israeli military. Most were not willing to discuss their experiences for obvious reasons!

The day ended with a beer on Manger Square. Im very happy to be back in Palestine. Any questions or comments would be much appreciated. also, Im having problems with uploading photos but will do so when possible. Thanks.

You can find a link here to Ta’ayush: http://www.taayush.org/
A link to Combatants for peace can be found here: http://cfpeace.org/?page_id=2

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The Tent of Nations
July 20, 2010, 9:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Tent of Nations consists of 100 acres of land on a hill-top in Bethlehem and is located 3100 feet above sea level. Daoud Nassar’s purchased this land where the Tent of Nations is in 1916 and since then, many family members have worked the land by day and slept in caves by night. The land has produced olives, grapes, and wheat and other fruit and vegetables including wine. The farm has been in the family for three generations.

I spoke to Daoud Nasser, third generation of the Nassar family who has been struggling to keep this land in the family and fight the Israeli occupation. He explained that his grandfather was a landlord and bought the land in 1916. Until 1936 grapes were grown and wine was produced using wine presses, however 25,000 trees together with other trees were uprooted and until this day no one is sure who uprooted the trees. The British in the same year confiscated the wine press machines, and after this incident the family started at zero according to Daoud.

The land is located 9km southwest of Bethlehem in the West Bank, in an area where Israel has full military and administrative control per the Oslo Agreements of 1993 and which is known as area C. The West Bank is divided into three areas A, B and C. Area C is under full control of the Israeli military and represents 60% of the West Bank. Little Palestinian development has been allowed in Area C. Building permits, for example, are rarely given by the Israeli authorities and buildings constructed without a permit are frequently destroyed. Israel requires a permit for all permanent infrastructure development. Currently, such permits are only granted to Jewish settlements located in this area. In addition, the land is not connected to the power grid or to public water unlike the nearby settlements. Because of the concrete barrier wall that Israel is constructing, very soon the land will be totally cut off from the rest of Palestine (see map).

The expansion and development of Israeli settlements and other infrastructure for Israelis has nearly all occurred in Area C. The Tent of Nations is now surrounded by settlements on all sides, which includes Neve Daniel (pop 1883, 2008), Rosh Zurim (pop 550, 2008), El Azar (pop 1706, 2008) and Btir Illit (34,829, 2008) with an encroaching Separation Wall. Settlers have trespassed on the property and destroyed many olive trees and reported the construction of tents to the Israeli authorities. The Israeli authorities claim that a permit must be sought in order to erect tents on the property. Recently, a poly-tunnel was built to assist in the growing of fruit and vegetables for domestic consumption and yet again demolition orders were issued by the Israeli authorities.

Daoud explained that fences and gates now surround the Tent of Nations to prevent settlers from intruding on the land. He told a story of how one night when there were 45 volunteers visiting the Tent of Nations, up to 35 Israeli soldiers stormed the area giving no explanation why they were doing so. He commented that these are routine procedures and that the Israeli military do not feel obliged to explain the reasons for raiding a person’s property.

The Nassar family have the original land documents including the Ottoman papers which were put in Dahar Nassars son’s name, who is Daoud’s grandfather. Also, during the British mandate, the Nassars had to re-register the land in order to receive acknowledgement from the British that the land was in their name.  A lawyer was hired in the last few years to retrieve these papers, which were located in Turkey. The family have contributed plenty of work to the land from the time of Ottoman (1916), British (1920), Jordanian (1948), and Israeli governance (1967) and to this day the Israeli authorities have not registered the land and demolition orders are being issued continuously for tents used to house visitors. 13 demolition orders have been issued.

In 1991, the Israeli government declared the whole area including the Nassars portion of land to be an Israeli state property. The Nassar family challenged Israel’s declaration and therefore the case was brought to the court. In 2001, though the issue was still unresolved, the local council of Israeli settlements decided to open a road through the east side of the Nassar land and again in 2002 the council took a decision to open a road all the way through the land, this time through the west side. However, the Nassars were able to stop both road projects through the Israeli court intervention.

The family then took the case to establish the family’s land rights to the Israeli Supreme Court. In 2005 the case of the land ownership was still under debate in the high court and the court kept postponing the case. And for nearly 20 years now the Nassars are still struggling to win the case. The case has reached the Supreme Court however was later moved back to the military courts in order to avoid a final decision to be made. The Nassars have all the documents to show they are the owners and this may be one of the reasons that Israeli authorities continuously avoid the case reaching the Supreme Court. The Nassars owe quite a substantial sum of money to their lawyers, however, this does not weaken their determination to continue with this case.

The Nassars have struggled with the Israeli occupation for many years now, however their true steadfastness and determination in this struggle is evident when you visit the Tent of Nations. Douad stated that ‘if you have water, electricity and building permits, it means you are staying’, and for this reason Israeli authorities deny applications for construction of infrastructure, therefore the Nassars must find alternatives.

The Tent of Nations has no running water. They depend on the collection of rainwater during the rainy season. This water is used for cooking, washing, drinking and all agricultural needs, including irrigation and caring for livestock. There are water cisterns but not enough to cover the needs, especially in the summer, when everything is dry and a lot of water is needed for the newly planted trees and visitor groups. Rainwater is collected and stored. Demolition orders have also been received by the family for these rainwater collection posts. Daher, Nassars oldest brother has shown true spirit in his resistance to the occupation. He works on the land and has built more than three caves on the land so as to find alternative methods to avoid receiving demolition orders, which are used to house visitors and hold prayer meetings. A 4.5 kilowatt diesel generator supplies electricity along with a solar panel system. The Nassars are currently discussing the possibility of installing a wind turbine. Compost toilets are also in use on the land ensuring sustainable alternatives to saving water.

To demonstrate their commitment to peace and co-existence, the Nassar family established the Tent of Nations on this land providing, arts, drama, and education to the children of the villages and refugee camps in the region. In addition, they have also established a Women’s Educational Centre offering classes in computer literacy, English and leadership training.

Speaking about the future for Palestine, Daoud explained that ‘without the two state solution, there won’

t be a solution’. And what will we call it he asked . . . ‘Israel or Palestine?’ As part of this solution, he explained that a land exchange agreement would be in place, however he stated that ‘we won’t accept this, this is our home’. “The Israelis don’t know where they are going, they have lost their souls’.

If you would like to learn more about the Tent of Nations log on to http://www.tentofnations.org or if you would like to visit the Tent of Nations, ring them at 022743071

With thanks to the Nassar family who have proved their dedication to the popular resistance of the Israeli occupation.



Abu Nidals personal story . . .
June 9, 2010, 12:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
    On Tuesday, June 8th 2010 Israeli bulldozers and the Israeli army  started destroying the land belonging to Ahmed Barghouth, Abu Nidal.

    Abu Nidal hours after uprooting and destruction of his trees and land by the Israeli authorities.

    The destruction is part of the Israeli plan to annex the land of his town (Al Walajah in Bethlehem) through constructing a wall around the town. Ahmed Barghouth was one of the very first farmers to plant olive trees from the Olive Tree Campaign (2002). His family harvested olives from these trees 2 years ago and this season was promising for him as the trees were bearing more olives than last season. 90% of Al Walaja has now been confiscated.

    Jamal Barghouth holding destroyed walnut trees

    I have personally visited this farm on several occasions. It is located on a hilltop in Bethlehem. The local people in the village are so inviting and every time I have visited, my friends and I have been invited to eat with the families of which all the food comes from their farms.

    Cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, limes and apricots which the family produce jam from, all of which come from Abu Nidals farm.

    Yesterday the  Israeli military  destroyed a 70 year old pine tree as well as many other almond and old walnut trees. “Is this the fate of my land and my family?”, Abu Nidal asked us while watching bulldozers ruining his land and uprooting his trees.

    The previous time I visited this tree had a Palestinian flag waving at its top. I was astonished at how someone could possibly climb such a tall tree! Then yesterday it was so sad to see the tree had been cut by the Israelis. Standing beside this tree I would look like a dot.

    The only section they haven’t destroyed yet is the burial place of his mother and other members of his family. By this destruction, the state of Israel is building a wall on his 20 dunums of land, leaving him only 2 dunums and destroying what will be left on the other side of the wall.

    You can see the clear pathway which will be the route of a ten metre high wall. The Israeli authorities claim this wall is for security reasons, however if that was true, they would have built it on the Green line of 1947.

    Israel could have built this Apartheid Wall on the green line (the West Bank borders) which is about 1kilometre away from Ahmed’s land and leave the residents of Walaja’s property to them, or, just shift the destruction to a piece of land that is not agricultural, which is only 10 meters away from the land planted with olive trees. But instead, Israel decided to build its wall through the olive groves, claiming that it is not possible to build the wall anywhere else for technical and security reasons, as if Israel’s security and technology could not avoid the theft and destruction of this farmer’s land.

    On Tuesday more than 15 young Israeli soldiers fully armed were present in the area to prevent local and international protesters from stopping the bulldozers destroying Abu Nidals land.

    The Israeli  plan, represented mainly by the construction of the Apartheid Wall, has a negative and destructive impact on Al Walaja. The  Wall will extend for 6.3km on Al Walaja lands; thus isolating and confiscating 4209 dunums of the village territory (97 percent of the total area of the village). The majority of this land is agricultural land, forests, and open areas.  This is in addition to the annexation of the Israeli settlements, Gilo and Har Gilo, to Israel.

    Moreover, this Apartheid Wall will surround Al Walaja village from its east, west and north sides. As for its southern side, there is a fortified road, controlled by the Israeli army, alongside a bypass road which is considered the only outlet available for the village residents who are heading towards Bethlehem city. Also, the southern part of Al Walaja will be surrounded by 2.4km wall, along the another bypass road, which will be protected from both sides with ditches and barbed wires (ranging between 80 and 100 meters wide). In general, the wall will isolate the village from other Palestinian villages in the rural west and the major cities in Bethlehem governorate.

    These trees are Abu Nidals main form of livelihood and would usually provide the families annual supply of olive oil.

    The Olive Tree Campaign as well as all other organizations involved with farmers in Al Walaja know that the Israeli’s plan is to annex as much land as possible from Al Walaja and Beit Jala to build another Israeli settlement called Givat Yael (map above).

    Ahmed Barghout – Abu Nidal, has done everything is his power to keep his land, from seeking justice in the Israel courts to getting the media involved and to calling on friends to protest against the destruction of his land. But all these actions have not stopped this Israeli destruction. The only thing Israel did before starting the destruction was send personnel from the Israeli Antiquities Authority to check on the site making sure that they won’t ruin archeological sites! Makes it seem like Israel cares more about not ruining the past while proceeding in ruining the present and destroying peoples futures.  My friends and I in Bethlehem call on Sponsors, friends and partners to help bring Abu Nidal’s story to the spotlight.

    As you can see the clear path of the wall which will take over all of these vines, olive trees and gardens.

    We call on Sponsors, friends and partners to help bring Abu Nidal’s story to the spotlight, as well as send a letter to the Israeli representatives in your countries with a copy to the media. See suggested letter.

    Also, Please call on the representatives of your country in Israel to seek an explanation from Israeli authorities on this matter, and perhaps pay a visit to Abu Nidal’s land and his family.

    Action is needed now more than ever before.

    Here are more trees which have been marked for uprooting by the Israeli authorities. Also in the distance you can see one illegal settlement housing Jewish settlers allowing no access to Palestinians even though this settlement is built on their land. This further displaces palestinians in their own land due to house demolitions by Israeli authorities in order to build these illegal settlements. The world has called on a freeze of settlements but Israel ignored this call and are further expanding these settlements.

    Read more on Al Walaja here http://proxy.arij.org/vprofile/bethlehem/pdfs/VP/Al%20Walaja_vp_en.pdf

    Suggested letter, To Israeli embassy

    To: Please find the contact details of Israeli embassy in your country here http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Sherut/IsraeliAbroad/Continents

    We have received some disturbing news today on the destruction of olive trees planted by the olive tree campaign in 2003 in Al Walaja. The olive trees were planted on land owned by a Palestinian farmer named Ahmad Barghouth. The destruction of these olive trees is to pave the way for the Israeli barrier built illegally inside the West Bank. As a result of this, Ahmad Barghouth who has already lost trees will lose a further 18 dunums of his land and be left with only 2 dunums. The Israeli authorities who are building the wall refused to shift the destruction to a nearby area where less damage would occur and instead decided to destroy Ahmad Barghouths property. Furthermore, the plan also sets out to annex the maximum size of the land so it will be available for the construction of a new Israeli – Jewish only settlement inside the West Bank called Givat Ya’el. I believe it is totally immoral to forcibly annex somebody’s property so it can be freely used by someone else. I am afraid what The Israeli Authorities are doing makes this sound like Ahmad Barghouth is being punished for not being Jewish and resulting in the illegal confiscation of his land.

    As sponsors and supporters of The Olive Tree Campaign’s mission to Keep Hope Alive and for Palestinians and Palestinian farmers we call on you to help with the following:

    1-    An immediate halt to the destruction of the land.

    2-    Moving the root of the wall to the green line.

    3-    Compensation to each and every sponsor for the 80 olive trees destroyed.

    4-    Compensation to Ahmad Barghouth for the destruction of his trees and land.

    5-    A clear Israeli commitment to eliminate the already approved plans to build the settlement of Givat Ya’el on the land of Al Walaja and other Palestinians’ land.

    We are looking forward to your response to this.

    Signed

    __________________________________________________________

    Wednesday 4th June 2010.

    Two friends of mine were arrested this morning by the Israeli soldiers in the same place as above. One who is from Israel and the other who is Palestinian were arrested after attempting to stop the bulldozers from uprooting more trees on Abu Nidals land. One friend chained himself to the bulldozer and the other was recording the events and for these reasons were detained by the Israeli soldiers. Here is a link to the news report.

    Later yesterday my friends were released one with false charges brought against him and fines were imposed and warnings were given to stay away from the wall for 30 days! Videos of destruction of land are below. And can I also ask you to sign the letter and send it to the Israeli ambassador or representative in your country. Also the destruction continues so I will keep you updated about Abu Nidals situation.

    Heartbreaking video of devastation Tuesday June 8th at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrbMP9hRNeo
    And the action and arrests on Wednesday June 9th
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9rdBX0pvv0

    Click here for some professionally taken photos of the destruction and demonstrations taking place in Al Walaja.



The Palestinian Struggle.
June 8, 2010, 9:11 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Living in Bethlehem in the Westbank is an experience that I will cherish. The people here are friendly and welcoming, they are generous and honest. They appreciate foreigners coming here to enjoy the amazing landscapes and beautiful historical sites but ever more importantly being a witness to their struggle and sharing my experiences with others at home is something that they are truly grateful for and encourage. It makes this experience more worth while knowing that I can create an awareness of what is happening by sharing their experiences with others. It is difficult to continually suppress your anger here when you witness the Palestinians struggle in the Westbank. Also what is more disheartening is that they are completely isolated from their fellow Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. They have friends, families and relatives living in Gaza but because of the illegal Israeli occupation and restrictions on travel they are denied access to visit each other in both places. However, the Palestinians continue with their everyday activities however limited or restricted they are due to the occupation, and this is seen as part of the struggle for a free Palestine. By writing this blog it alleviates the anger and frustration inside when I witness the racist and discriminatory treatment of the Palestinians by the Israeli government, the israeli military and also the jewish settlers. The Palestinian people are also very grateful to anyone who is part of any form of protest or demonstration against Israel through whatever method is possible for each individual. The events of the past week and a half have exposed the Israeli government and has shown Israel as a racist, apartheid, undemocratic, zionist state. They have shown their true colours and hopefully you have seen this too.



Israels attack on humanitarian ships in International waters!
May 31, 2010, 9:14 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

31st May 2010.

A Call for Action.

Dear friends,

I am an Irish citizen presently residing in Bethlehem, the West Bank, the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Presently, I am sitting in my office of the Joint Advocacy Initiative in Bethlehem where we are following reports of the unlawful attack by the Israeli military on the flotilla ships sailing to Gaza with 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. Because of the blockade imposed by Israel since June 2007 on the 1.5 million people living in Gaza, the situation has turned into a severe humanitarian crisis. The Israeli army in the last few hours attacked and is still attacking the humanitarian ships in International Waters. The ships are holding hundreds of international humanitarian activists and European parliament members, directing to Gaza with food and medicine.

Reports coming in are explaining the situation of the passengers on the fleet of ships. There are, up to now, reports that 16-20 civilians have been killed and 50-60 injured, but these figures are expected to rise. The ship sailing from Ireland ‘MV Rachel Corrie’ is packed with 900 tonnes of aid including cement for re-building homes and schools; paper for use in schools and basic drugs for hospitals, however as of yet there are no reports of this ship. Both Palestinians and Internationals here are holding a demonstration today at two o’clock from the Nativity Square in Bethlehem in protest of the illegal raid of the flotilla and the unnecessary and unlawful murder of over 20 civilians.

I am calling all of you to take immediate action against this massacre by Israel whom are perpetrators of a racist, discriminate and apartheid regime against the Palestinian people. I am a witness to this.

My Palestinian and International friends here strongly condemn this massacre against unarmed civilians, which clearly violates international law and human rights and we urgently call for all individuals and humanitarian supporters worldwide to take immediate actions! Please join in local demonstrations wherever you are. You can also organize your own demonstration or join planned ones in front of the Israeli embassies, or diplomatic mission in your country, or in front of your governmental buildings to express condemnation, and demand serious actions and positions, including condemning this crime and lifting the siege imposed on Gaza.

You are needed to protect global humanitarian values and freedom in the world.

Go raibh maith agat a chairde agus Inshallah you will do what you can to support the Palestinians in their struggle.

Best regards,

Ciara

PLease watch one of the most up to date videos here.

If you would like more information on the situation here, please reply to my email and I can forward my contact details to you. Please support this call.



Nakba Day, Al Masara, 2010
May 17, 2010, 11:04 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
Today the demonstration was different than other weeks. We marched towards the Wall and the lands isolated behind the Apartheid Wall. There was little confrontation with the Israeli soldiers as todays participants rallied for a cultural festival. Three tents were set up as a symbol for the thousands of tents the Palestinian refugees who were forced to live in after they had been driven out of their homes in 1948. These tents were a symbolic representation of the Palestinian’s right of return. There are currently seven million Palestinian refugees around the world.

The cultural festival was organized in commemoration of the Nakba (the catastrophe of 1948), the day upon which Palestinians throughout the world commemorate the violent dispossession of Palestinians from their lands and home, which resulted in the establishment of the State of Israel. The festival was organised to revive Palestinian cultural heritage in the face of a 62 year occupation that has not only dispossessed the Palestinian people from their land but has had a marked impact on the ability of Palestinians to continue to practice their Arab heritage and traditions. The following are some photos that I took at Al Masara in Bethlehem on 14th May 2010 in commemoration of Nakba Day.

Program of events for commemoration of Nakba in Al Masara
Organisers of Nakba event espressing their rights to hold an event to commemorate the Nakba to Israeli soldiers
Three tents were erected to exhibit photos relating to the events throughout the years advocating for the rights of 7 million refugees to return to Palestine
A photo of a refugee collecting water in the camps in 1993
Photos of other displaced peoples in their own land.
Empty streets waiting for those to finish morning prayer.
Clothes drying on a warm summers day.
Beginning of peaceful demonstation on 14th May in Al Masara
More demonstrators gathering
More demonstrators
Getting a good view from a rooftop
Crowds gathering
Local youth enjoying events to commemorate Nakba and to celebrate Palestinian culture and traditions
Local musicians
Reem Al Banna, a famous Palestinian musician
The Dakba, the traditional Palestinian dance
Reem Al Banna, if you click on link Nakba in the Brief History section, you can hear her on the third video.
Local children participating in event


A Brief Historical Outline
May 16, 2010, 10:34 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

A very brief historical outline.

'A picture/map paints a thousand words'

Throughout the history of Palestine, it has been invaded, conquered and ruled by many tribal groups and armies. It is known to many as the Holy Land as many famous historical sites dating back thousands of years are located in historical Palestine. The three main religions are Judaism, Christianity and Islam all of which are present in the area and each religious historical site has some significance to each of the religions.

In the late 1800s, European society was becoming increasingly anti Semitic and some Jewish thinkers decided that the only way to prevent this was to physically escape this discrimination. As a result, Zionism emerged. Essentially Zionism is  the desire to return to Mount Zion, in Jerusalem which holds great significance to the Jewish faith. However, the Zionist idea to establish a Jewish state in historic Palestine was only supported by a small minority of European Jews. During WWI this dream became feasible for the first time, when Britain achieved control of Palestine and warranted the creation of the Jewish state.

Before the 1800s Palestine was primarily inhabited by Muslims (with 10% Christians and only 4% Jewish). However, 167,000 Jewish settlers arrived from 1882-1928 and 250,000 from 1929 to 1939 (the time of the Holocaust), so that by the end of WWII over half a million Jews immigrated to these lands. This mass immigration prompted the uprising of the native Arab population which was being deprived of land and resources.

By 1947, riots and violence had grown substantially which caused the United Nations to propose a partition plan of the territories which resulted in over half of Palestine (56%) going to the Jewish immigrants, who comprised of 30% of the population and owned less than 7% of the land and the remaining being left to the Palestinians. Despite this internationally accepted solution, the Zionists who were superior in military power, began forcibly removing thousands of Palestinians from their lands. To this day this event is referred to as the Nakba (Arabic for ‘catastophe’). By May 1948 the State of Israel was proclaimed on 78% of historic Palestine.

In June 1967, during the “Six Day War”, Israel eventually occupied the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem and thus all historic Palestine. Since that time, more land has been confiscated for erecting illegal Israeli settlements, building the Apartheid Wall and creating military zones in 45.5% of these lands. As a result, Palestinian communities are isolated from the outside world but also from eachother (permission must be sought from the Israeli authorities if one wants to travel to Gaza from West Bank or vice versa and permission is also required to enter Jerusalem).

Today, the occupation continues to negatively affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. The Israeli State continues to breach the human rights of the Palestinian people, holds civilians hostage in their own country and subjugates them to military laws which are needlessly repressive, racist and discriminatory.

I realise this is a very brief outline of the history of Palestine, and if anything is incorrect, please add a comment to let me know. I will add to this through the coming months so if you have any questions please send comment and I will try to answer these. Also thanks to Marika and Palestinian Monitor, 2010 where some information has been taken from.