Palestinian playwright and actress Raeda Taha, who served as Yasser Arafat’s press secretary, said in a September 9, 2019 interview on Amman TV (Jordan) that a “delicate inter-Palestinian issue” that often goes undiscussed is that, during the 1948 war, many Palestinians moved into homes that had recently been vacated by other Palestinians who left as a result of the war. She explained that her most recent play attempts to show how the occupation “generates problems” and tears the Palestinian social fabric. Taha is the daughter of Ali Taha Abu Snina, one of the Palestinian terrorists who hijacked Sabena Flight 571 in 1972 and who was killed by Israeli commandos. After Abu Snina’s death, Yasser Arafat took Raeda Taha and her sisters into his personal care.
Raeda Taha: We know that 900,000 Palestinians were driven out of their country in 1948. They were driven out on boats. As Palestinians were leaving the Port of Haifa, Jewish immigrants were arriving there. So we know the big picture and we know that there was a war. But we do not know about a very delicate and important inter-Palestinian issue. In some cases, when the Palestinians were forced out of their homes, other Palestinians came and started living in their homes. Palestinians started living in the homes of other Palestinians. It is true that their homes, lands, and properties were handed over to the [Israeli] Custodian of Absentee Property, but in many cases, Palestinians inhabited the homes of other Palestinians who had left. They bought those homes from Israelis. This is a delicate issue, because some Palestinians obtained foreign passports and returned to Palestine, only to find other Palestinians living in their homes. This issue is…
Interviewer: What did they think? How did they feel?
Raeda Taha: So the purpose [of my latest play] was to show how the occupation generates problems. The difficulties go beyond the occupation of the land and the destruction of the homes. The social fabric is torn.