Dheisheh Refugee Camp

by Revolt

Revolutionary Worker #1209, August 10, 2003, posted at rwor.org

In the opening to the film Children of IBDAA: To Create Something Out of Nothing,a Palestinian girl returns to the village where her family used to live before they were forced to leave and become refugees by the Israeli occupiers. She says:

" It's a great thing. Spectacular. I can't express it with words. I can express it only through the beating of my heart at this moment. When I first entered this village I felt that she greeted me. With a face that is both smiling and crying. Smiling why? Because the village embraced her children in her lap. Finally she saw us, and we saw her. She was crying because these few hours were going to pass by quickly. And we will return to our reality as refugees."

The Dheisheh Refugee Camp was started in 1949. Today it has 11,000 inhabitants.

The youth in the camp live a destitute life. One youth described the camp: "There's no place for kids to play, no place for gardens. No place for a person to live like the rest of the world."

At the time of the creation of the refugee camp, the state of Israel was being created, with the backing of the imperialists. More than 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homeland. At that time the refugee camps were just tents. Today, Dheisheh is made up of people from 45 villages.

Since the creation of Dheisheh, people have resisted occupation. In 1995, the Israeli army withdrew from the camp itself--and built a barbed wire fence that now surrounds the camp. The refugees have clashed with the occupiers in the alleyways of the camp. The Israelis have massacred people, injured hundreds, and put many more in prison. In the current intifada, the Dheisheh refugee camp continues to be invaded and attacked by the occupying forces of Israel.

Some people in Dheisheh still have keys to their old homes in occupied Palestine, now under Israeli rule. They pass down these keys from generation to generation, hoping that one day the Palestinian people will be able to return to their homes.

This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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