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ael I., Ruth O. and Ilana D. (reporting)

13.00 – 15.30



On the way the development of the Refaim Park along the railroad track and the bike path encircling Jerusalem is continuing apace. A large round build ing, apparently some visitors’ center, is being constructed across from the CP. Near de well underneath Wallaje we saw a large group of Ethiopian women covered in white, we didn’t stop to investigate. The road to the house of our elderly friend A. was in even worse condition than before due to the recent rains a stark contrast to the shining black asphalted new security road, almost alongside it on his land beyond which also the graves of his parents are. The family came out all bundled up against the cold and ushered us inside where they promptly lit a stove for us. 

A told us that he is not meddling with the internal politics of the other villagers and said that some who could prove that they had lived on the spot in 1967 actually managed to receive blue Id’s as Jerusalem residents. His financial situation is very bad. The one son who was granted refugee status in Sweden and had married an Italian citizen now has a one-month old daughter (the Japanese-born grandmother came from Italy to stay with them and help out with the new babyinfo-icon). Since he succeeded in fulfilling all the requirements to become a certified electrician there too, he now works in his own profession and earns a good living.  The other son who was not allowed to stay in Moscow is back. He slipped over the fence and worked for a month illegally within Israel. He is now at home, because it is too cold to sleep outside which is what he did for a month. There is no work for him in the neighborhood. A man from Battir came to ask A. re the history of the place and where A. and his family had lived; he said that he did not volunteer any such information to strangers and apparently was scared to be compromised for something. A. is hopeful that things may change for the better after the elections but when we left he asked whether persons over the age of 60 are allowed to enter Israel without a permit – in that case I will go and find some work, he said. He used to be a well-known contractor and hopes that he could still earn something through his former clients. We promised to enquire, but doubt that that is the case. As far as we know, only women over the age of 60 are allowed into Jerusalem on Fridays without a special permit.