Iyad Al-Dibbis brings his son to visit the grave of his father. Salamah Ibrahim Al-Dibbis was killed in Aida Refugee Camp during the Second Intifada. An Israeli sniper, stationed on the roof of the nearby InterContinental Hotel, shot Salamah when he leaned his head out the bedroom window to call down to his children, who were playing on the street below. Iyad named his son after his father. (Photo: Rebecca George)
Salah Abu Laban remembers sitting down for an Iftar meal when he was a teenager, and hearing his cousin’s name called over the mosque’s loudspeaker. His cousin, Abed Abu Laban, had just been killed by the Israeli military in Al Khader village while throwing stones. He was 24. At that time, in December 2000, there was a heavy Israeli military presence near the main cemetery on the other side of town, and it was too dangerous to carry Abed’s body there. So a man near Dheishe Refugee Camp donated a piece of land and the Martyr’s cemetery outside Dheishe was born.
For some Muslims around the world, the first morning of Eid Al-Fitr is a time to visit the graves of deceased relatives and loved ones. In Palestine, this means visiting the graves of those who have been martyred during the conflict with Israel. On the July 17, 2015, nearly 200 Bethlehem area Palestinians came to the Martyr’s Cemetery outside Dheishe Refugee Camp.
Salah Abu Laban says about visiting the cemetery, “passing by all of these people I know for a long time, people I played with, people I talked to, I studied with, I carried the bodies with, it’s like a nightmare that’s refusing to end. I could be one of these people.”