Marking (2019)

Photography Series 

Lajjun was a Palestinian Arab village located 16 kilometres northwest of Jenin in Mandatory Palestine, and 1 kilometre south of the remains of the biblical city of Meggido. In 1948 it had 1280 inhabitants, two mosques, six-grain mills, a school, and many shops.  On May 30, 1948, in the first stage of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Lajjun was captured by Israel's Golani Brigade in Operation Gideon. While many of the village residents who left to the nearby village and fields waiting for the fights to ended and become eventually Israeli citizens, the village lands and houses were confiscated by the state as it residents were deemed by the state as "Present Absentees". Some of the lands were given to the JNF-KKL (1) who planted a forest on top of them and some were given to the newly created Kibbutz Meggido. 

 

A few of the buildings from Lajjun still stand within the kibbutz grounds, including the mosque which was built in 1943. Today the building is a carpentry shop. Other structures that survived the planned demolition of the village are one of the village mills, the village health centre,  a few partially destroyed houses and the village cemetery. 

In 2010 a few of the former village residents applied to the Supreme Court to order the state to give back some of the village lands which are not used for building development or agriculture. These lands were confiscated through the "Land Acquisition" Act of 1953 which defined the grounds for expropriation, "development, settlement or security" needs. The law was one of the subjects of  the editorial "Cry, the beloved country" by Dr. Carlibach in Maarive Newspaper.  The Supreme Court dismissed the claim and the judges, Deputy Chief Justice Eliezer Rivlin, Elyakim Rubinstein and Yoram Danziger ruled that forestation in Israel justified the expropriation of land(2).

 

The photos were taken during a tour to the village's remains by the organisation “De-Colonizer”(3).

 

 

  1. Ideology and afforestation in Israel – Man-made Keren Kayemet LeYisrael forests (in Hebrew), Nurit Kliot http://geography.huji.ac.il/.upload/STUDIES_XIII/XIII-Kliot.pdf , p. 94.

  2. http://www.news1.co.il/Archive/001-D-225802-00.html

  3. https://www.de-colonizer.org/