"Archaeological Ruins" in Israel.

Discussion in 'Happy Hour' started by devans, May 20, 2008.

  1. devans

    devans Mentor

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    <DIV =mvb>By Martin Asser
    BBC News, Iqrit, Israel </TD></TR></T></TABLE>[​IMG]



    According to our Israeli road atlas, Route 899 runs from the sea along the Lebanese border to the town of Sasa, and along the way passes an "archaeological ruin" called Iqrit.



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    <DIV =cap>Iqrit's only remaining permanent structure is the old stone church</TD></TR></T></TABLE>


    The three-dot symbol on the map is one of hundreds of such locations throughout this historically rich land - but this is no biblical or Roman-era relic.


    Iqrit was an Arab Christian village vacated during the 1948-49 war, one of hundreds of villages in the former Palestine whose populationseither went into exile or, as in the Iqritis' case, into internal displacement in the new Israeli state.


    While traces of many of these deserted villages have all but disappeared, the sparsely wooded hilltop of Iqrit - against all odds - continues to play host to its former inhabitants and their children and grandchildren.


    On the first Saturday of every month, a priest comes to hold mass in the only permanent building left in the village, the blue-domed St Mary's church.


    Here Iqritis get married and christen their children, and they bury dead in the little cemetery at the bottom of the hill.


    On Sundays and public holidays, youngsters play football on the hilltop's only flat area, parents arrange picnics and old-timers reminisce or sit in silent thought.


    Hopes dashed


    One old man, 80-year-old Asad Mbada Daoud, says he remembers clearly the day Israeli troops captured Iqrit, in October 1948.


    Initially, it seemed the 450 inhabitants might remain in their homes after surrendering to the troops and pledging to live in peace under Israeli rule.



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    <DIV =cap>Asad Daoud was 20 when his village surrendered to the Israeli army</TD></TR></T></TABLE>





    After a week, however, they were evacuated by force to al-Rama, about 12 miles (20km) south, while the army "cleaned" the border area of Arab fighters.


    "It was a very hard life," says Mr Daoud. "All our food and resources were in the village, we had no work. We lived 60 to a room in schools, or stayed in empty houses of refugees."


    Assurances that they would be allowed to return after a fortnight were not honoured; weeks of exile turned into months, years. Despite several court rulings in the inhabitants' favour, the Israeli military prevented their return citing emergency regulations.


    On Christmas Eve in 1951, army officers took some village elders to a nearby hill and they watched as the old stone houses were blown up with dynamite and tank fire, as many other Palestinian villages had been.


    You can read the rest at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7361036.stm
     
  2. Solomon Kane

    Solomon Kane Mentor

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    God bless these good people, may their village and their independence be restored.
     
  3. Colonel_Reb

    Colonel_Reb Hall of Famer

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    Amazing and sad story there devans. Thanks for posting it!
     

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