When you think of the West Bank in the Palestinian Territories, skateboarding is not what initially springs to mind. Stories of violent clashes between Palestinians and Israelis, housing demolitions, child arrests and Israeli settlement expansion tend to dominate headlines from the occupied territory. But despite the pervasive presence of the Israeli occupation, daily life in Palestine continues and within this, a small group of skateboarders have begun to emerge in the West Bank.
Nurturing this growth in skate culture is UK based charity Skatepal, who have recently built the West Bank’s third and largest skatepark in the small village of Asira al Shamilaya, outside the city of Nablus. Situated high up on the sloping hills and rocky terrain of Asira, the collection of ramps and rails has helped unite and build the skateboarding community, providing a powerful outlet for children searching for fun and a sense of freedom in Palestine.