Qalkilya - City of Hope

Fred at the Qalqilya Separation Wall
From Fred Schlomka

Qalqilya is a West Bank town just a couple of kilometers from where I live - but it might as well be on another continent due to the 8-meter high Separation Wall and the ban on Israeli Jews from entering the municipality.

In 1948 Qalkilya, which sits on the Green Line,  lost much of it's agricultural land to Israel in the aftermath of the war of 1948 and the Palestinian Nakbah (catastrophe). In 1967, under cover of the six-day war, the Israeli Government attempted to empty the town and expel the residents east to Jordan. Only due to an international outcry, the plan was not completed. Over the past ten years, due to the Separation Wall, more agricultural land has essentially been confiscated. One tragedy after another . . . .

Below is a truly inspirational film clip about a group of youth who are developing their athletic and creative abilities despite the ever-present Israeli Occupation, restrictions of their movements, and little hope for jobs or freedom on the horizon.

Those of us involved in the peace and justice movement in Israel/Palestine can take the lead from these youngsters. They are the future of the country, and hold a vision in the palms of their hands that few of us can match.

If you are thinking of taking a tour to Nablus or Jenin, do stop off at Qalqilya and visit the boys on the streets.


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