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The small village of Al-Ras Al-Ahmar was occupied by Israeli troops on October 30, 1948 as part of Operation “Hiram.” Inhabitants fled following military assault by the Sheva' (Seventh) Brigade, which had committed several massacres in the Upper Galilee. Al-Ras Al-Ahmar was home to 719 Palestinian Arabs and had 147 houses, a Boys' school, wine presses with tessellated floors (from the Byzantine period), and a spring on its North side that provided water for domestic use for village families. [Source]

Zochrot, a group of Israeli citizens working to raise awareness of the Nakba, partnered with allies in Lebanon to bring back life-size photographs of villagers forced into exile in 1948 who now live in Southern Lebanon. According to Zochrot’s website, “At the end of October, 1948, the attackers left the Northern side of the village open for safe passage in order to force the refugees north, toward Lebanon.” The photo exhibit was meant to remind current inhabitants of the area—the Jewish moshav community of Kerem Ben Zimra—that although the Palestinian families from Al-Ras Al-Ahmar are forbidden to return today, their presence, history, and attachment to the land remain.

Our visit to the village was on December 27th, 2008, corresponding with the beginning of Israel’s large-scale attack on Gaza: one participant’s account.