Palestinian Territories / Places We Go

The Landscapes Of Palestine

vintage-palestine-poster

It may not be quite as tranquil anymore as the above poster would suggest…

However, the impression below that most individuals have of the Palestinian Territories of Gaza and the West Bank is not entirely accurate either:

palestinian throwing stone

protester palestinian

I will certainly get into that side of the Palestinian Territories in the future. However, before launching into the predictable stories and scenes of conflict, I wanted to demonstrate that there is a lot more to the Palestinian Territories than just refugee camps, Israeli settlements and constant fighting.

Seeing that there is, in fact, more to Palestine also adds a little more context to the conflict. Well, at least for me. When I understand the landscape, I can make more sense of a conflict.

So, in this post, I have intentionally left out scenes of conflict and the occupation. After all, if one looks past the conflict, the Palestinian Territories really do harbor many beautiful landscapes.

*****

Contrary to most expectations, the northern part of Palestine is actually quite green and fertile:

west bank landscapes

west bank landscapes

west bank landscapes

woods palestine

The first glimpse of the Dead Sea when driving south down Route 90:

west bank landscapes

This first glimpse of the Dead Sea is also a rough marker point for the transition from the greener north to the arid south.

Route 90 entering the deserts of southern Palestine:

roadway palestine

Well, “desert” except for the palm plantations which stand out dramtically against the stark backdrop:

palestine palm grove

Sandstorms can make the drive more interesting:

palestine sandstorm

In between the Palestinian towns and Israeli settlements…

west bank landscapes

homes palestine

palestine town

west bank landscapes

west bank landscapes

west bank landscapes

terraces palestine

west bank landscapes

west bank landscapes

…are open fields, farms and, of course, desert…

west bank landscapes

west bank farms

streambed west bank

rock walls palestine

palestine farm

…often populated by shepherds…

sheep palestine shepherd

palestine shepherd

…and goat herders:

palestine goat herder

And whatever you call people that look after camels:

palestine camel

They don’t call Palestine the “Land of Olives” for nothing…

west bank landscapes

It really does have a lot of olives:

orchards palestine

olive groves palestine

land of olives palestine

palestine olive groves

They have grapes too:

grapes palestine

And the delicious results can be purchased at countless roadside stands such as this one:

fruit seller west bank

Well, I lied a little in the introduction. It is impossible to avoid the signs of war and conflict in the Palestinian Territories. The below, however, are historical rather than contemporary, so I have included them…

A tank destroyed in the 1967 War that still rests along Route 90:

destroyed tank west bank

These abandoned homes in the West Bank (of which there are many) used to belong to Jordanians… After Jordan’s unsuccessful offensive during the 1967 Six Day War, Israeli forces seized control of the entire West Bank. The Jordanian occupants of these homes fled before the Israeli invasion and have never returned:

abandoned jordanian homes west bank

west bank landscapes

3 thoughts on “The Landscapes Of Palestine

  1. May I say Ames that 4 of those olive trees I planted them? :D
    Hopefully thanks to ngos such as Bustan Qaraaaa (بستان قراقع) and Green Intifada there will be hope for more water and more shade-trees in the arid region.

  2. Pingback: Occupied Palestine « The Velvet Rocket

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s