PHOTOS: Palestinians return to village destroyed in 1948 Nakba
By Activestills <http://972mag.com/author/activestills/> |Published April
1, 2013 PHOTOS: Palestinians return to village destroyed in 1948 Nakba
*Palestinian citizens of Israel return to the village of Al-Ruways, which
was destroyed by Zionist military forces during the Nakba. *
Photos by: Ryan Rodrick Beiler/Activestills.org
Palestinian citizens of Israel, joined by Jewish Israelis organized by the
activist group Zochrot, return to the destroyed village of al-Ruways, March
30, 2013. All structures in Al-Ruways were destroyed and the original
residents forcibly displaced to nearby Tamra by Jewish militias in the
Nakba in 1948.
The Israeli group Zochrot <http://www.zochrot.org/> organizes many tours of
Palestinian villages depopulated during the Nakba of 1948. What made this
Saturday�s tour of Al-Ruways particularly remarkable was the large number
of displaced Palestinians and their descendants who made the event more of
a return than a simple tour.
Zochrot, whose name means �remembering� in Hebrew, aims to educate Israeli
Jews about the history of the Nakba and the Right of Return for Palestinian
refugees. Typically, they will arrange for one or two refugees to help
guide a tour of their home village, telling those who attend about life in
their village before the Nakba, and the events leading to their
displacement in 1948.
This week in Al-Ruways, dozens of local Palestinian residents of Israel
were on hand for the return to Al-Ruways. Led by village elders who lived
through the Nakba and experienced the displacement firsthand, the large
group walked through the land of the village, marking various sites with
signs to remind future visitors of the town�s existence. Such a large
turnout of Palestinians was possible because when this village was forcibly
evacuated by Zionist forces, they were simply pushed to the nearest town,
Tamra, which remains until today. The residents of Al-Ruways were told by
the Jewish militia leaders that after two weeks, that they would be able to
return to their homes. Of course, as in many similar
what became the State of Israel, the displaced Palestinians were never
allowed to return to their homes, even though they continued to live just a
few kilometers away. The village itself was completely destroyed, with few
visible traces remaining other than the cemetery and occasional pieces of
Recently, the mayor of Tamra has attempted to negotiate with the Israeli
Interior Ministry to have the land of Al-Ruways added to Tamra�s village
lands. Though the change has yet to be finalized, the tentative agreement
hinged on one condition: that there would be no new building on the land of
the long-demolished village of Al-Ruways.
Palestinian Israelis plant a sign marking the destroyed village of
A village elder leads the group as they walk through the remains of
A local resident holds a shell casing found in the destroyed village of
Palestinian Israelis mark the site of the mosque in Al-Ruways near a patch
of saber cactus, itself a symbol of Palestinian steadfastness.
Children explore the cemetery of Al-Ruways, one of the few remaining
visible traces of the village.
Palestinian citizens of Israel find a grave marker pictured in a guide book
published by the activist group Zochrot, whose primary mission is to
educate Jewish Israelis about the history of the Nakba.
The word �Palestine� is written in painted rocks on land belonging to the
destroyed village of Al-Ruways.
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