Introduction: Palestine rarely makes the news in Indian media. When it does, it is usually because "clashes" or “hostilities” have flared up yet again. Knee-jerk sentiments are often quick to ascribe Palestinians with “terrorism”. The reality is that the Palestinians are an exceptionally warm and welcoming people.
Perceptions about Palestine are too often shaped by lack of information or by propaganda. It is easy to dehumanise those we are ignorant about.
This 10-part series on Palestine consists of photographs from East Jerusalem and the West Bank taken by the author during a visit in early 2018. They convey varied aspects of Palestine’s natural beauty, her ancient and unique history, Palestinian art, education and culture, and the grim realities of their lives under Israeli military occupation.
In part one, we look at urban Palestine.
[Below: A map of West Bank, Gaza and Israel (L); the West Bank (R). Courtesy: palestinett.org]
Bustling cities, crawling peak hour traffic, street-side vendors and measured chaos evoke a distinct sense of familiarity for an Indian traveller in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank of Palestine. The warmth of the Palestinians, the spontaneous invitations into their homes and their lives, and the modest sizes of their cities lend them a disarming intimacy.
The images below are a snapshot of Palestinian lives in urban settings.
Busy commercial parts of the city of Nablus in northern West Bank: