Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Case of Iqrit

Just south of the Lebanese/Israeli border is the remnants of a small Christian town described by the Israeli government as an archaeological ruin. Having been founded by the Canaanites the small Palestinian Christian town of Iqrit is older then nearby Roman ruins and unlike the Roman ruins it has a sizable population within living memory.

In October of 1948 the town's 450 residents peacefully capitulated to the Zionist army with the promise that they would be allowed to remain on their land. They pledged loyalty to the Zionist state and agreed to give up their weapons and live peacefully. However, six days after surrendering to the Zionists the town's residents were forcefully relocated twelve miles south to the town of Rama. On Christmas eve of 1951 the Zionists demolished the entire town with the exception of the Church and cemetery.

Every month the residents of Iqrit and their descendants hold Mass at the church and dream of the day when they will be able to return to their village. Despite numerous Israeli Supreme Court Rulings and international and Israeli pressure the residents of Iqrit have still not been allowed to return home.