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Palestinians reclaim their land through outdoor sports

In an attempt to reclaim Palestinian land, several groups are organizing hiking trips in the West Bank, with most of the trails located in Area C under Israeli military control.

After a long and gloomy winter, spring has finally arrived in Palestine. With rolling green mountains and deep, maze-like valleys, the terrain of historic Palestine makes for great hiking, climbing and camping trips. Every Friday and Saturday, dozens of charter buses leave from major West Bank cities shuttling thousands of Palestinians to beautiful destinations for some sort of outdoor activity.

But this was not always the case in Palestine. The rising popularity of outdoor sports and ecotourism is a relatively recent phenomenon as the Israeli military occupation heavily restricts Palestinian freedom of movement. After the Oslo Accords, the West Bank was divided into three areas: Area A, under Palestinian Authority (PA) control; Area B, under PA civil authority and Israeli military authority; and Area C, under full Israeli military control.

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