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A Tragedy in Northern Israel

Ruins of the depopulated Maronite village

Ruins in a Maronite Village

I was excited when I found the following article on Common Ground News, because I walked this very village of Bar’am with one of its children, now a lawyer.

He invited my friends and I into his home for tea in the town of Jish. This is the place where his grandfather ran for shelter when the Israelis forced the people of Bar’am to evacuate their homes in 1947.  They were never permitted to return to live in their homes or recover their possessions.

During my visit to the deserted village of Bar’am, I stood in the grandfather’s bombed out home next to the Maronite Church he once served, the very one mentioned in the article.

His was one of the only homes still visible, though many piles of rubble stood out among the vines, bushes and trees that have grown up through the years.

Jish villagers still return to worship in this church as they  continue to repair it, which is illegal because the Israelis refuse to grant permits. I saw the wreckage of the new bathrooms that had recently been destroyed by the Israeli Military.

Jish Christians say they will continue to worship in their old church, and will build it up over and over again.

The full story follows:

http://www.commongroundnews.org/article.php?id=29156&lan=en&sid=2&sp=0

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