Jonathan Cook: the View from Nazareth -

Destroyed villages I

While the world focuses on the barbarities of the military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, the true inciting cause of Palestinian anger towards the Jewish state can be safely ignored. The mass dispossession of the Palestinians by the Israeli army in the 1948 war, when 80 per cent of the indigenous population was expelled or terrorised away, has been erased from our memories…

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Israel was not slow to make sure that there would be few reminders left for those who dared to look later, or for that matter that there would be nothing left to reclaim should Palestinian refugees try to return to their confiscated land and property. More than 400 Palestinian villages were destroyed by Israel during and after the war.

Today, the remains of many villages are buried under forests planted by the Jewish National Fund using tax-exempt donations from the US and Europe, or the lands have been handed over to exclusively Jewish rural communities for the grazing of their animals and the Palestinian homes for use as farm buildings.

In a few cases the original Palestinian homes have survived but only to be reinvented as spaces for Jewish citizens ­ discotheques, bars, restaurants and even synagogues. The photos in the next three galleries are a small record of the evidence that survives.

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