Thursday, December 25, 2008


Just south of the Lebanese/Israeli border is the remnants of an ancient Christian villages described by the Israeli government as an archaeological ruin. Iqrit was founded by Canaanites before construction of the nearby Roman ruins had even began, and unlike the Roman ruins it has had a sizable population within living memory.

In October of 1948 the town's 450 residents peacefully capitulated to the Zionist army with the promise and the hope that they would be allowed to remain on the land they had inhabited for thousands of years. In exchange for pledging loyalty to the Zionist state and surrendering their weapons they were promised peaceful coexistence within the nascent Israeli state. However, six days after surrendering the villagers were forcefully relocated twelve miles south to the town of Rama. On Christmas eve, 1951 the entire town, with the exception of the church and cemetery, were demolished by Israel.

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. Despite favorable rulings in Israeli courts and the support of Israeli and international groups they still wait.

No comments: