Google Earth

Palestinian villages commemorated on Google maps

Palestinian surfer marks locations of hundreds of Arab villages that existed before 1948 war on Google Earth map

Google Earth, Google's three-dimensional geographic software, allows users to go on a world trip and search for data and images from space or from the nearest street corner.


One of the service's most significant features enables surfers to add their own comments to certain locations and provide other users with updated information about them.

Google earth: Pre-1948 Arab villages


A surfer who calls himself Thameen Darby, and who claims to reside in Jenin, has documented in recent months for Google Earth hundreds of Palestinian villages that vanished from the face of the earth in 1948. Some were replaced by new Israeli communities and towns.


"During the 1948 war between the Israelis and Arabs, 800,000 Palestinians were expelled, or escaped from their villages in Palestine, where they had lived for thousands of years. since then they have turned into refugees and their villages have been partly or completely destroyed," he wrote.


"The Right of Return is the main obstacle for achieving peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and for reaching a resolution for the dispute," he stated.


'Jewish property should be documented as well'


Darby documented on Israel's map in Google Earth hundreds of ruined villages in their original location, and also added links to the Nakba website.


The Palestinian surfer, seems to be quite a moderate person. In the Google Earth forum, one of the surfers asked him: "There were hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees who were forced to escape their homes in Arab states at the same time… maybe their property should also be documented, in order to maintain balance?"


And Darby replied: "I agree with you 100 percent. I wish I had time to document the Jewish residence in the Arab world, but I don't. I would be happy to see someone taking this project upon himself."


In a separate debate with another Israeli surfer, a settler from kibbutz Kfar Etzion wrote Darby: "I think that the things you wrote are biased but legitimate. They present one side of the story in a powerful, but fair, way."


"We must recognize the fact that our war of independence was a catastrophe for the Palestinians that would have been prevented had the Arab world accepted the Separation Plan. We also made a mistake, due to fear, the heat of battle or our neighbors' actions. We cannot disregard our own moral insensitivity," he concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 07.13.06, 16:56
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