Al-Aqaba is a small Palestinian village in the Jordan
Valley of the
occupied West Bank surrounded by Israeli military checkpoints and
After the 1967 war the area around the agricultural community was
declared a closed military training zone by the Israeli army. The use of
live ammunition and explosives in the surrounding area of the village
has led to the injury and even death of dozens of people from the
village. Of those who have been injured is the current mayor, Hajj Sami
Sadeq, who has used a wheelchair for the past forty years after being
shot by Israeli soldiers at the age of 16.
The livelihoods of the village and its population are severely
restricted in terms of movement and access to basic amenities such as
water, which is bought and
then taken to the village in a tanker since there is no connection to the
In September 2011 the road to the east of the village leading towards
the eastern checkpoint was destroyed by the Israeli military. The army also
demolished a house which had been home to twelve persons. Numerous homes
have been demolished since the beginning of the occupation and further
demolition orders have been issued. This has not stopped the community
from building in an attempt to reverse the decrease in population from
700 residents since 1967 to 300 today.
The following photos are from my recent stay in al-Aqaba village.
All photos by Calum Toogood.
Calum Toogood is a photojournalism student from Scotland currently studying a degree at Swansea Metropolitan University, Wales.