Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Palestinian village of Jabal al-Fardous and its hostile Israeli military neighbors


December 11, 2012
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Video by Rafael Guandelman

Between the years 23 and 15 BC, Herod the Great, the Roman client king of ancient Judea, commissioned a lavish palace to be built for himself within the fortress of Herodium. Atop a large plateau situated 12 kilometers from Jerusalem, Herod placed his palace in a strategic position from which he could fortify the Roman Empire’s control of the area.

Today, upon the scattered remains of Herod’s palace and its accompanying city of Herodium, sits the Palestine village of Jabl al-Furdous. The village along with the ruins of Herod’s palace fall within what is now known as Area C of the West Bank in the occupied Palestinian territories – Area C signifies the 62% of the West Bank which falls under complete Israeli civil and military control.
 
During his rule, King Herod was known for his harsh attitude and polices directed towards the local Jewish population—a suppression which eventually came back to bite him in the year 112 AD when the native Jewish population rebelled and took over his palace.
 
As of 1990, the modern day Jewish population has once again attempted to reassert its control over the tiny hilltop and subsequently the entire surrounding area via its creation of an Israeli military base upon Herod’s ruins.
 
The ruins of Herod the Great’s ancient palace now play home to the antagonistic relationship between the newly built Israeli military base, vying to assert its control on the area, and the villagers of Jabl al-Furdous, struggling to gain access to their land in order to survive.
 
The Fawzi family lives directly alongside the new Israeli military base and represent the plight of a big part of villagers’ life in Jabl al-Furdous.



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