Palestinian refugees’ fight for freedom

The body of a Palestinian refugee from the Ein al-Helwe refugee camp, is carried uphill after he was killed by an Israeli soldier from across the border fence. (Image: Matthew Cassel)

Tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon risked their lives protesting at the border with Israel in south Lebanon on Sunday, ten were killed and hundreds were injured. They were calling for the right to returns that they were forced to flee 63 years ago. Sadly, this is one of the only English language articles you’ll read about it by someone who was there:

Palestinians in Lebanon, at the lonely end of the Arab uprisings
Matthew Cassel, Guardian’s Comment is Free

Climbing up the mountain to reach the Palestinian right-of-return protest in Maroun al-Ras in south Lebanon on Sunday felt a bit like being back in Tahrir Square.

The thousands of mostly Palestinian refugees were smiling as they joked about the strenuous climb, and helped each other up the mountain to reach the site where they were going to stage their demonstration. Some knew it could even be dangerous, but that didn’t matter as much as the rare opportunity to join together and call for their rights.

The small elevated Lebanese village just overlooking the border with Israel became a massive parking lot as buses carrying Palestinian refugees and Lebanese from across Lebanon converged for a protest commemorating what Israeli historian Ilan Pappé calls the “ethnic cleansing” by Zionist militias of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their lands and homes in 1948 – what Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba”, or catastrophe. [continued on the Guardian’s site]


Here is a gallery of my images from the protest that day:

Refugees march to return – Images by Matthew Cassel

Leave a Reply