Bethlehem City Tour 1st part; Inside the Palestine Territory

8-days Pinoy solo backpacking in Winter Israel
November 02 to November 10, 2013


“Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense that England belongs to the English or France to the French. It is wrong and inhuman to impose the Jews on the Arabs... Surely it would be a crime against humanity to reduce the proud Arabs so that Palestine can be restored to the Jews partly or wholly as their national home” ― Mahatma Gandhi

My 29th country state to visit where recognized as 2nd of only 2 observer state by United Nations, 26th solo backpacking trip, 5th visa on arrival application encounter outside Southeast/Northeast Asia, 4th winter travel and of course, usual budget do-it-yourself itinerary from arrival to departure. 

The Palestinian territories or occupied Palestinian territories (OPT or oPt) comprise the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip. People have lived continuously in the land of historic Palestine for thousands of years. Th earliest to form cities were Canaanites, ancestors of today's Palestine. For the past 5,000 years, Palestine has been ruled by many groups including the Egyptians, Phillistines, Hebrews, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Ancient Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arab Caliphs and Ottomans. As the Holy Land, Palestine is important to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

In the late 1800's, a small group of Ashkenazi proposed creating a state for Jews-only in line with the political ideology of Zionism, which, then as now, opposed by many Jews. After considering different locations, the Zionist decided the Jewish state should be Palestine and the native population be drive out. Zionism capitalizes on the myth that the Ashkenazi are descendants of Jews evicted from Holy Land 2,000 years ago. In fact, European Jews are mostly descended from mass conversions to Judaism.

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (Manger Square)

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (Manger Square)

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (Manger Square)

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (Manger Square)

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (Manger Square)

In 1880, Zionist (European Jews) from Britain started the first colony in Palestine. Britain reneged on its promise for Arab independence and took over Palestine. Britain backed the Zionist colonial project and allowed Zionist colonists to come over to Palestine under British protection. As more Zionists arrived and their colonial intentions became known, tensions increased with native Palestinians. whose protests were violently suppressed with the help of British. By the end of World War II (1945), nearly 368,000 Zionists colonists had immigrated to Palestine, making up about 20% of the population.

In November 1947, without consulting Palestinian people, the United Nations proposed giving 55% of Palestine to the Zionist for a state (see map above) although the Palestinians owned 90% of the land. The proposal was rejected and fighting broke-out. With much better and larger armed forces, the Zionists began attacking Palestinian villages. Many Palestinians were massacred or driven from their homes from 1947-1949 in what Palestinians call Al-Nakba, the catastrophe. An estimated 850,000 Palestinians were forced to leave and became refugees. Over 530 Palestinian villages were seized then destroyed or taken over.

"We must expel the Arabs and take their places and if we have to use force to guarrantee our own right to settle in those places - then we have force at our disposal" - David Ben Gurion, Israel's founding member and 1st Prime Minister, 1937

In  May 1948, Israel declared itself a state on 78% of Palestine. Israel planted fast growing pine trees to cover some of the destroyed Palestinian villages. Jewish immigrants, mostly from Europe, moved into the houses that were left standing. Jordan annexed the West Bank including the East Jerusalem; Egypt took control of the Gaza strip.

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (St. Catherine)

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (navigating the Shepherds filed)

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (navigating the Shepherds filed)

self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory (Manger Square)


self-guided walk inside Bethlehem, Palestine Territory

Capital:              East Jerusalem
Government:      Parliamentary Democracy
Language:          Arabic
Tourism:             http://travelpalestine.ps/

On November 29, 2012, In a 138-9 vote (with 41 abstaining) General Assembly resolution 67/19 passed, upgrading Palestine to "non-member observer state" status in the United Nations. The new status equates Palestine's with that of the Holy See. The change in status was described by The Independent as "de facto recognition of the sovereign state of Palestine". The vote was a historic benchmark for the partially recognised State of Palestine and its citizens, whilst it was a diplomatic setback for Israel and the United States. Status as an observer state in the UN will allow the State of Palestine to join treaties and specialised UN agencies, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the International Criminal Court, and other organisations for recognised sovereign nations. It shall permit Palestine to claim legal rights over its territorial waters and air space as a sovereign state recognised by the UN, and allow the Palestinian people the right to sue for control of their claimed territory in the International Court of Justice and to bring war-crimes charges against Israel in the International Criminal Court.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestinian_territories


Bethlehem tour 2nd part; Church of Nativity and Milk Grotto
go back to main post


0 comments:

Post a Comment

much of thanks for visiting the viewing deck ^_^

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...