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Previous | Next :: Palestinian Girl plays ball with backdrop of Israeli barricade : Jenin : West Bank | April 12, 2011, 7:19 pm

Palestinian Girl plays ball with backdrop of Israeli barricade : Jenin : West Bank
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Israel today apparently asked Turkey to stop a ship leaving its shores on a direct aid and publicity mission to Gaza from Turkey.......... It's due to leave next week......... the last 'Peace Mission' from Turkey aiming to land in Gaza was a total disaster ............ with many deaths of protestors after they fought with Israeli commandos when the soldiers boarded the ship by helicopter to stop it entering Israeli controlled sea and landing in Gaza ...............

The picture above was made in much more optimistic times............ way back at the beginning of the first intifada in 1988 ............ I was working on my first big overseas story........ Palestinians were hopeful of a two State solution back then............. times were tough but they remained boyant................. there was of course much violence and death ........ but also optimism....... its hard to remember those optimistic days when world opinion swung behind the Palestinians and it felt like better things were coming for them ......... the PLO had moved away from being identified with hijacking and other acts of terrorism that had largely defined their image to outsiders since the 1970s........ The people of the refugee camps won the worlds sympathy as they threw stones against the occupying Israeli army with its tanks and guns.......... I thought a two State solution was on the cards.......... probably only a matter of months.....................

This was all way before the rise to power of Hamas........ Before suicide bombing...... and modern Islamism............ with its attendant social control and the nihilism of the cult of martyrdom.

Today, Matt sent me this scan of this B&W print from back then.......... I felt like I had not seen it for years ............. I remembered this image.......... how I felt when I made it ....... and the mood of the times......... I can't help feeling a historic opportunity for a proper peace deal........... a two State solution with dignity and security for all........... was missed back then......... over twenty years later the Palestinian optimism has gone.......... the rockets and tank shells rain in and out of Gaza.......... 17 Palestinians have died in the last exchanges lasting 3 days beginning with Hamas Rockets striking a school bus and killing people on board .......... and now I shudder at the thought of another clash on the high seas next week possibly costing the lives of more Palestinian supporters lives as the whole thing grinds on.

Cheers Jez XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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