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'iNakba' app finds former Palestinian towns in modern-day Israel
Published Tuesday 06/05/2014 (updated) 21/05/2014 21:45
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A photo taken on May 5, 2014 shows a smartphone displaying
the app "iNakba" that allows users to find the remains of
Palestinian villages that now lie inside modern-day Israel
(AFP Thomas Coex)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- An Israeli NGO is on Monday launching a smartphone app that allows users to find the remains of Palestinian villages that now lie inside modern-day Israel.

The launch is timed to coincide with Israel's 66th independence day, which begins at sundown, when the Palestinians remember the "Nakba" or "catastrophe" that befell them when Israel came into existence in 1948, and 760,000 of them fled or were forced into exile.

"iNakba" features an interactive map and photos of buildings and houses that Palestinians fled or were driven out of during the conflict surrounding Israel's creation in 1948.

"Many Palestinians have difficulty locating their home towns and villages (in Israel and the West Bank), because cities or Jewish settlements have been built on top of them," said Raneen Jeries of Zochrot, the NGO that developed the app.

"There's a file on each of hundreds of Palestinian villages or cities, and you can find information and see old and new user-uploaded photos about the locality," she told AFP.

Zochrot, based in Tel Aviv, campaigns for Israelis to recognize the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, along with their descendants.

The right of return for Palestinian refugees has long been a key sticking point in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the latest round of which collapsed in late April after nine months of apparently fruitless negotiations.

Israel fears that any flexibility on the issue would open the floodgates to millions of refugees, which would pose a demographic threat to the "Jewish and democratic character" of the state.

Palestinians mark Nakba Day every year on May 15.

"Our aim is to make Israeli Jews aware of the Nakba, which uprooted hundreds of thousands of Palestinians," said Liat Rosenberg, director of Zochrot.

Palestinians in the diaspora can "follow" their own villages to watch for new information or pictures posted by those who are able to visit them inside Israel, Jeries said.

"Refugees living in Lebanon, for example, can follow their village and each time someone uploads a photo of it or writes a comment, they'll see an update."

Zochrot uses maps from British Mandate Palestine (1920-1948) to locate the villages, Jeries said, and marks them on the interactive Google Maps-based app with virtual "pins."

Rosenberg admitted iNakba might not have the desired impact on most Israeli Jews, but insisted that "left-leaning Israelis will be interested in the app."
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1 ) Rami / Palestine
06/05/2014 15:01
Cue Brian Cohen claiming "What ethnic cleansing?" before going into a lame tirade about other countries "who did it too..."

2 ) E / usa
06/05/2014 15:45
I want to wish israel happy independence day. 66 years to this beautiful and great country. Thank you palestinians for your generous gift of giving israel the land in 1948 and moving back to your native lands of Lebanon and syria. Your nakba should be celebrated with joy and happiness.

3 ) Mel / USA
06/05/2014 21:56
#2:E/usa? Wow! So,according to your twisted logic & sick sense of humor,Israel should also be saying "thank you",to the Nazis for the Holocaust on 6 million Jews,Catholics,Romanies,"non-Ayrans" etc,so the Zionist invasion of Palestine would be escalated &ongoing to this day?And "moving back"? When are Israeli Jews moving back to Europe,Russia,South Africa,USA? Oh that's right! 3rd generation Ashkenazi Israeli's already ARE!Militarist war-mongering Zionism drove them away! Sumud Palestine!

4 ) Outlier / USA
06/05/2014 22:29
From a review of "1948, A History of the the first Arab-Israeli War" comes this, "Transfer — or expulsion or ethnic cleansing — was never an explicit part of the Zionist program, even among its more extreme elements, Morris observes. The first Arabs who left their homes did so on their own, expecting to return once the Jews lost or the fighting stopped. Apocalyptic Arab broadcasts induced further flight and depicted as traitors those who chose to stay behind."

5 ) More good wishes from unbiased / USA
06/05/2014 22:34
"...On behalf of the American people, I wish President Peres, Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the Israeli people a joyous Yom Ha’atzmaut," Obama said in a statement. "Generations of Jews dreamed of the day when the Jewish people would have their own state in their historic homeland, and 66 years ago today that dream came true," the statement said. "Today, Israel thrives as a diverse and vibrant democracy and as a "start-up nation" that celebrates entrepreneurship and innovation." ... (Haaretz)

6 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
07/05/2014 00:22
So, Rami - send your leaders back to the negotiating table and tell them to get serious. It is clear that they were not and had no intention of negotiating a final peace treaty. And yea, Rami, war sucks bigtime and people get displacced. But the truth is that since 1948 the Arab population of Israel has grown to exceed the pre-1948 population, and the population of the west bank and Gaza are the highest in history. Those are facts. Ethnic cleansing is not.

7 ) Robby / USA
07/05/2014 04:14
You would think they could use technology to improve the lives of Palestinians... oh wait, apps that improve peoples lives come from Israel and the rest of the world.

8 ) Steve / USA
07/05/2014 05:24
#2 E) Only a person with no backbone make a comment like that and not put a name to them. That shows to me your lack of courage and honesty. Own your own words, do not make fun or a sarcastic remark like you have and think its funny, it is immature.

9 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
07/05/2014 09:24
Hey Rami - download the app "iIsraelWasHereLongBeforeYou" to see a list of all the villages and towns that existed not just before "Palestine" (which Maan readers should know was never an independent country), but before Islam and Christianity. Ethnic cleansing is kosher for apartheid Palestine - your leaders said repeatedly Jews are not allowed. Can you imagine a death sentence in America if a white sold a house to a black? That's the law in Palestine for selling a house to a Jew. Total Racism.

10 ) JoeFattal / USA
08/05/2014 19:45
That proves one point. That Palestinians were there before the Israelites arrived with Moses. Can you imagine an Israelite asking Moses...Hey Moses, who are those people riding camels?. And Moses answered, they are Philistines my son, peaceful Philistines. In a land were depression is a way of life, a little humor wont hurt a bit.

11 ) JoeFattal / USA
08/05/2014 20:27
My opinion about the dispute who was there first, the Israelites, or the Phillistines/Palestinians in the land. All depends on a person beliefs. Its either about creation or evolution. If it is creation than people were there before the Israelites, and these people were the Phillistines or Palestinians. If it is evolution than nobody was there when the Israelites left since it has been studied that the first man and woman were black in Africa and God had nothing to do with it. Your choice.
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