French English Back Back

The Absentees


Bruno Fert

These photographs show the remains of Arab villages and cities which were de-populated during the first Arab-Israeli war. In 1948, the creation of the state of Israel triggered this conflict which caused the exodus of approximately 700,000 Palestinians to neighboring countries. Afterwards, the refugees were not allowed to return to their homes which were confiscated under the Israeli "Absentee Property Law". Today, the number of palestinian refugees and their descendants is estimated to be 5 million. Their claim to their right to return has always been a major point of contention between Palestinians and Israelis. These images —a return to the roots of this conflict— are an exploration of the genesis of the Palestinian refugee problem.

Roger Pic Award 2013 - Société civile des auteurs multimedia

With support from the 'Centre national des arts plastiques' - Fund for contemporary documentary photography.

Watch ARTE's documentary


 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508049

Suba was a Palestinian village built on the ruins of the Belmont Crusader Castle, conquered by Saladin in 1191. In 1948, fierce fighting broke out between volunteers of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Jewish forces who attempted to break the siege of Jerusalem.

Israel - 22/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508048

The village of Al-Bassa was conquered by Jewish forces on May 14th 1948. Inhabitants were gathered together in the large village church before being deported to the Lebanon. Their descendents still live in the refugee camp in Dbayeh near Beirut. Al-Bassa church is now in an industrial area of the Israeli town of Shlomi.

Israel - 24/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508047

All that remains of the village of Kafr’Inan in Upper Galilee are white stones. Between 1948 and 1949, villagers who had been evicted came back on several occasions. In 1950, their land was definitively confiscated.

Israel - 24/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508046

The village of Al-Ghabisiyya was conquered on May 21st 1948. Its inhabitants, who were evicted to surrounding villages, became Israeli citizens. They are no longer allowed to return to Ghabisiyya to live, but come back to pray outside the mosque, whose doors have been sealed by the Israeli authorities.

Israel - 25/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508045

The inhabitants of Lifta, near Jerusalem, fled the fighting and were evicted in January 1948. Fifty or so beautiful houses still stand.

Israel - 22/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508044

In the 1940s, 3,000 muslims lived in Lifta on the outskirts of Jerusalem. From 1948 to the 6-day war in 1967, the village was in a no-man’s land. Some houses are inhabited by drop-outs.

Israel - 22/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508043

The small town of Rosh HaAyin, near Tel Aviv, was built on the land of Majdal Yaba. The only remains of this Arab village are the ruins of the Mirabel Crusader castle where couples getting married come and have their photo taken.

Israel - 25/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508042

The Wadi Salib neighbourhood of Haifa is located on Mount Carmel, and was inhabited by Christian and Muslim Arabs. Most of the inhabitants were evicted during the Bi'ur Hametz military operation (Passover Cleaning) in April 1948.

Israel - 11/03/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0514205

The Wadi Salib neighbourhood of Haifa.

Israel - 11/12/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508041

An abandoned house in the Wadi Salib neighbourhood of Haifa. In 1959 there was a large uprising by Moroccan Jewish immigrants who had been set up in houses that were left vacant by evicted Arab inhabitants in 1948.

Israel - 11/03/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508040

An old house being restored that belonged to the family of writer Ghassan Kanafani in the Wadi Salib neighbourhood of Haifa. A worker strikes a pose.

Israel - 12/03/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508039

A mother and her children in the garden of the Kibbutz of Beit HaEmek. The Beit HaEmek kibbutz was founded in 1959 on the land of the Arab village of Kuwaykat. The only remains of the old Arab village are the old olive trees with their twisted and knotted trunks.

Israel - 15/11/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508038

The village of Qubaya was emptied of its inhabitants during the Barak operation on May 27th 1948.

Israel - 12/11/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508037

In 1945, Qubaya had 1720 inhabitants. A primary school was opened there in 1929.

Israel - 12/11/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508036

Suba was conquered on the night of July 12th 1948. Its 720 inhabitants had fled the fighting. The Tzova Kibbutz is next to the ruins of Suba.

Israel - 22/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508035

Children play amongst the ruins of Lydda, in the city centre of Lod. During the conquest of Lydda, between 50,000 and 70,000 Palestinians fled or were evicted. Many of them came from other areas and had taken refuge in Lydda as the town was in territory that had been set aside for the Arabs during the UN’s partition plan.

Israel - 20/11/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0514203

An Arab house on the outskirts of Jaffa in the south of Tel Aviv.

Israel - 24/11/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508034

The remains of the Abdel-Nabi cemetery are by the sea and at the bottom of the Hilton. The cemetery was built in 1902 for the inhabitants of Jaffa, before Tel Aviv was founded in 1909.

Israel - 23/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508033

Bayyarat Hannun was conquered during the «Coastal Clearing » operation in April 1948. Now this small ruined building surrounding by railings is in the middle of a farmed field next to the Netanya stadium.

Israel - 08/03/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508032

Tomb of a sheik in the old cemetery of Majdal Yaba.

Israel - 25/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508031

Old inhabitants of Lifta won a legal battle to stop a luxury housing complex being built on the ruins of the village.

Israel - 21/11/2013

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES

 

Bruno Fert / Picturetank FEB0508030

The village of Lifta is busy nowadays. Ultraorthodox Jews plung themselves in the sacred waters of the basin (Mikvé). Young religious people also come here to flirt.

Israel - 22/10/2012

WIDE EDITORIAL USAGE. WITHOUT MODEL/PROPERTY RELEASE. Infos : +33(0)143 15 63 53. CAUTION, WATERMARKED PHOTO. CONTACT US FOR ALL USES



top