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Massafer Yatta: The resilience of a people

Palestine, West Bank, Massafer Yatta, 2019

At the exit of the village of Carmen, the bus leaves the asphalt to pass into zone C. Placed under the exclusive control of the Israeli army, this area, which represents more than 60% of the West Bank, has become a hotbed of colonisation. But here, in the hills south of Hebron, not all roads are legal for the Hebrew state, and the road to Massafer Yatta, which has been destroyed several times, is barely passable. At the very end, some Palestinian families have decided to stay. Harassed by the military controls and the invectives of the settlers, pushed into exile by the recurrent demolitions, they resist as best they can. Without access to the most basic services, this handful of Palestinians show a tenacious resilience, a struggle not to become strangers on their own land.

In January 2020, the US-proposed "Peace Plan" consolidated the ambitions of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu by recognising the settlements already established. The long-promised annexation of this part of the occupied territories could one day move from the status of a project to reality.

At 73 years old, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has fallen into normality. Settlements are multiplying and Palestinian land is shrinking. I decided to explain this conflict, through a region forgotten, even by its own country, where families are considered strangers in their own home and undergo a daily occupation. But what is really an occupation in 2020? How does it translate? This is what I wanted to show through this report. In the meantime, the Palestinian cause is disappearing from the radar, and if nothing changes, the country could continue to disappear from the map in the coming decades.

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