Israel Yesterday and Today: A pilgrimage in word and image | Contents | Galilee | Jerusalem | West Bank | Desert | Sinai |
Palestinians today 
 a displaced people

Palestinians today are much like their biblical predecessors, hospitable, friendly, persevering, and hardworking.  Sheperds in Bethelem today worship the Prince of Peace who was born some 2000 years ago. Unfortunately most Palestinians who were born and raised in the Holy Land have been uprooted and displaced from their homes, villages, and jobs.  Today there are some 3 million Palestinians in the area that became Israel and the occupied territories of the Gaza strip and the West Bank. More than a million live in refugee camps. Most cannot travel outside their occupied territory or visit families and friends in other occupied territories. The occupied townof Jerico is surrounded by a trench built by the Israeli army eight feet wide and five feet deep to prevent any cars or foot travelers from getting out or getting in.  This virtual blockage of Palestinian villages has resulted is much suffering, ecomonic loss (they can't trade or get to their jobs), and social deprivation. Pregnant women and infirm have been denied access to hospitals outside the occupied territories. More than half are unemployed and under the poverty line. 

The Gaza strip, home to some 1.2 million Palestinians and a few Jewish setters, is described by many as the world's most crowded and largest concentration camp. Few can leave or enter its borders. The right of return for Palestinian refugees is internationally recognized by UN Resolution 194 of December 1948. There are more than 3 million Palestinian refugees throughout the Middle East. Only 38% of the Palestinian refugees in the Middle East live in the occupied Palestinian Territories,  while the majority lives in Jordan. Hundreds of thousands live in Lebanon and Syria. 79% of all Palestinian refugees live in refugee camps; 60% of them under the poverty line. 


Also see | Beit Jala | Bethlehem | Beit Sahour
| Gaza | Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children
| Pontifical Mission for Palestine |


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(c) 2001 Don Schwager