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Will East Jerusalem airport become another Jewish settlement?

Israeli plans to build yet another Jewish settlement have many Palestinians worried that they will block the contiguity between East Jerusalem and Ramallah.

Like so many locations, Palestine’s first airport has three names, each reflecting a different narrative. When it was established in 1920 by the British mandatory government of Palestine, it was given the name “Jerusalem Airport.” A photo taken in 1969 after the 1967 Israeli occupation reflects the original name, albeit with the Hebrew lettering placed above the English and Arabic names.

Palestinians often refer to the airport, which is located near the Palestinian village of Qalandia, north of Jerusalem, as Qalandia Airport. The term has gained popularity since 1948. The Qalandia refugee camp erected near the village also carries the same name, as does the infamous Qalandia checkpoint not far from the town and the airport strip. Palestinian filmmaker Nahed Awwad has reflected on the history of the Qalandia Airport in a documentary titled “5 Minutes from Home” and an article in the Journal of Palestine Studies. The film reflects the extreme Palestinian yearning for times past when travel by airport was very much available without the current hassles of crossing the bridge to Jordan.

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