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Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun

On June 16, 2007 the refugees of the villages of Latrun - Imwas, Yalu and Bayt Nuba - commemorated 40 years since their expulsion in a procession of return to the area of their villages. We joined the convoy of buses and cars that departed from Baythunia in the direction of Bayt Nuba, today the Mevo Horon settlement. The usual route between the two sites is about a 10-minute drive, but because of a checkpoint at the Baythunia exit, and because Road 443 is not intended for Palestinian use, we drove on a side road connecting between the villages that took over an hour.

The procession and a demonstration took place next to the fence that separates Bayt Nuba (Mevo Horon) from the West Bank. Canada Park, which was built by the JNF, sprawled out before us on the other side of the fence.

Within a short time army jeeps arrived. They stood across from us on the other side of the fence and got ready for a fight. We asked them to keep a few meters' distance so that we could finish up the event without provocation, but to no avail. We moved the demonstration away from the fence so as not to satisfy conditions for "dispersing us by force," as the army officer called it. Walking back to our buses, we saw Canada Park through clouds of tear gas. 

Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
The settlement of Mevo Horon was built on the site where the village of Bayt Nuba once stood
Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
In the background, the train to Jerusalem that is being constructed on the lands of the villages of Latrun
Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
The IDF prepares for a fight
Procession of Return to the Villages of Latrun
Tear gas grenade, " Canada Park " in the background
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