Palestinians are constantly reminded of the horrible situation in which they find themselves... having been expelled from the land they once inhabited, they are faced with their perpetrator on a daily basis.
Most strikingly, they can see the sea, and Tel-Aviv, on a clear day. The image below was taken from the top of our street, 5 minutes walking distance from the centre of Ramallah. You can clearly see Tel-Aviv in the background - a place that the majority of Palestinians have never visited. Palestinians are denied entry into Israel. Most Israeli's have never visited the West Bank either.
Another daily reminder are the illegal settlements that are dotted around the West Bank. There are two on Ramallah's outskirts. Here is a picture taken 20 minute drive north of Ramallah. The buildings on the left are from a settlement, the buildings on the right are from an ancient Palestinian town called Nabi Saleh.
And then there is the separation wall. Of course I was aware of the wall but there is nothing like experiencing it in person. What a horrible inhumane thing to do, dividing a country and their people and creating a number of crazy situations in which villages are cut off from each other without access to the Israeli highways that divide them, where Palestinians with Jerusalem ID cards have to pass through check points to get to work each day, horrendous traffic and a lot of wasted time.
We drove from Ramallah to Tel-Aviv airport today, and what would normally take 5 minutes took over one hour, without any traffic. The photo below is taken from Israel after one hour of continuous driving. The tall building in the background is Ramallah - without the wall and checkpoints the same distance would have taken us 5 minutes.
This picture was taken on the way from Jerusalem to Ramallah - via the Kalandia checkpoint. Kalandia actually used to be an airport in the sixties but now is the main entry into the West Bank.