13. Ruins of Lifta
Giclée print on Hahnemühle photo rag paper
60 x 42 cm
3/5 edition (+ AP)
The village of Lifta is the only Palestinian village depopulated in 1947/48 that has not been destroyed and built over, or repopulated by Israeli communities. It was once the home to 2250 Palestinians, whom were slowly driven out over a number of months by Jewish militias and by food shortages due to the precariously strategic position of the village. The Lehi (aka the Stern Gang - a group labelled by the British and even later Israeli governments as a terrorist organisation) attacked civilian targets in the village, such as a cafe and homes in early 1948.
In 1984, an abandoned home in village was used as a hideout by a gang of fanatical Jewish zealots, subsequently labelled 'the Lifta Gang', who attempted to blow up the al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock on the Haram al Sharif / Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
In 2011, plans were drawn up to destroy the village and build a 'luxury housing project' on the site. A group called the 'Coalition to save Lifta', including former Palestinian residents, their descendants, Israeli academics and others, has fought bitterly to save the village. Today it sits by the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv road, inhabited by a few squatters and has been declared a municipal nature reserve by the Israeli government. It stands as a ghostly memorial to the ethnic cleansing and forced abandonment of the Palestinian 'Nakba' (or disaster).