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:
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:
The first glimpse of the Dead Sea when driving south down Route 90:
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:
Well, “desert” except for the palm plantations which stand out dramtically against the stark backdrop:
Sandstorms can make the drive more interesting:
In between the Palestinian towns and Israeli settlements…
…are open fields, farms and, of course, desert…
…often populated by shepherds…
…and goat herders:
And whatever you call people that look after camels:
They don’t call Palestine the “Land of Olives” for nothing…
It really does have a lot of olives:
They have grapes too:
And the delicious results can be purchased at countless roadside stands such as this one:
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:
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: