Khaled is just one of 10,000 Palestinian refugees who live in Dheisheh, one of the cramped refugee camps in Bethlehem. “It’s the holiest place in the world,” he says, “but it’s the worst now for human rights. I can’t leave. I can’t work. I can’t talk even. I can’t do anything I want.” Like Khaled, other refugees in Dheisheh live lives of quiet desperation – wanting simply to return to their homes, to work, to have the chance to lead a full life. In 1948, during the war that accompanied the founding of the Israeli State, thousands of Palestinian refugees fled to neighbouring countries.
Some twenty years later, in 1967, the Israelis fought what they regarded as a defensive war – and occupied the West Bank of Jordan and the Gaza strip. As a result there are now 1.3 million Palestinian refugees living under Israeli control, and denied many human rights guaranteed to all people under international laws. This ‘Life’ episode explores their plight against the backdrop of the stalled Camp David talks on peace in the Middle East.