Yahoo News is Accurate; Israel Imprisons, Abuses Homesick Arabs

May 11, 2018 in News by Slad

Thaer Sharkawi is one of around five million Palestinian refugees spread across Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank, and like many he has never visited the place he calls "home" (AFP Photo/ABBAS MOMANI)

Source: WHTT

70 years after exodus, Palestinians dream of return

Palestinian children play in the Amari refugee camp near the city of Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on May 8, 2018

Palestinian children play in the Amari refugee camp near the city of Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on May 8, 2018 (AFP Photo/ABBAS MOMANI)

Amari Refugee Camp (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – Thaer Sharkawi, 31, has never visited the place he calls home.

The Palestinian was born and raised in the Amari refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, but for him his house is 50 kilometres (30 miles) away in the town of Kafr Ana inside what is now Israel.

Kafr Ana hasn’t actually existed for decades — demolished in the weeks after Sharkawi’s grandfather fled in 1948 — yet he knows there was a boys’ and girls’ school and can vividly picture the orange groves his great-grandfather tended.

“I haven’t been there but I have heard about it,” he told AFP. “I studied about it and read about it on the internet.”

Sharkawi is one of around five million Palestinian refugees spread across Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank.

The majority of them are descendants of those who left during the 1948 “Nakba” — or catastrophe — when more than 700,000 were expelled or fled their homes in the war surrounding Israel’s creation.

Like Sharkawi, most have never seen their historic homes, many of which were destroyed by Israel.

Yet, as they mark seven decades since that mass displacement on May 15, Palestinian refugees are determined to maintain connections to the land they still want to return to.

Sharkawi sits with his father Nabil and grandmother Khadija, who at 85 remembers fleeing her home as Israeli fighters approached.

– ‘Google helps them’ –

Nabil contrasts the open fields of his father’s former home to the cramped conditions they have lived in for 70 years in the Amari camp, but said he wasn’t worried the new generation would lose the link to their historical homelands.

“There are (technological) developments now — there is Sheikh Google. They can open it and see ‘here was Kufr Ana’,” he said. “Google helps them to see the land that is theirs.”

But Ali, a 19-year-old also in Amari but whose grandparents came from Al-Na’ani, said he knew “nothing” about the village, also destroyed in 1948.

“My grandparents died when I was young and no one really talked about it.”

The so-called right of return for Palestinian refugees is one of the most difficult issues in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Israel flat out rejects it, saying allowing even a fraction of them to return would mean the end of it as a Jewish state.

Chuck Carlson’s comment on Yahoo News: 

This part of a big story from Gaza has the ring or truth. Those who blame “Palestine’s government for the imprisonment of millions of Arabs have not been there as I have. I witnessed an Israeli air raid by US made Apache choppers, and I lost count after 40 US made Hellfire missiles exploded in front of me, killing 4 Palestinians and wounding 40. I can reject the apologist for Israel who blame this 70 years of abuse and imprisonment on Palestinian leadership. US politicians and arms makers who supply Israel with the American money and weapons are to blame for the imprisonment of 5 million largely innocent Palestinians.
Chuck, A Christ Follower in Gaza, 2002