Today, one of our work colleagues kindly accompanied us on a trip to Bethlehem.
We visited the church of the nativity, Basilica and Grotto of the Nativity. According to tradition, the grotto of the Nativity is the place where Christ was born of the virgin Mary.
After this we visited Dheisheh refugee camp. It wasn’t what I had expected a refugee camp would look like. It was more like a poverty stricken village with concrete built structures, many of which are not connected to the public sewerage system. There are at least 14,000 people living here. It is a home for the people who fled from their homes in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
“Handala was born ten years old, and he will always be ten years old. At that age, I left my homeland, and when he returns, Handala will still be ten, and then he will start growing up. The laws of nature do not apply to him. He is unique. Things will become normal again when the homeland returns.” —Naji Al-Ali
On July 22, 1987, in London, Naji Al-Ali was assassinated as he walked towards the offices of Al-Qabas newspaper.
Whilst in Bethlehem we went to witness the reality of the apartheid wall. It is a wall built by the Israelis which is over 700km long and around 85% of which is constructed inside the west bank. It is being used to ilegally annex Palestinians land. In 2004 the International Court of Justice declared the wall and its associated permit regime illegal under International Law.
It is an 8 metre high concrete structure. It is covered in grafitti art from around the world, which shows the widespread support for the Palestinian struggle for freedom.