On Friday, February 25, a group of about 200 of us visited Lifta. Zochrot activists, together with refugees of Lifta and their offspring, visited the charming village to hear stories, to learn, and to post signs designating the history of the village and some of its sites: The mosque, the olive oil press, and the cemetery. When bus line 194 (named the UN resolution) arrived at the entrance to the village we descended into Lifta by foot. Above us, at the roadside hitchhiking stand at the exit from Jerusalem, a group of about 20 people congregated and called out epithets like "Death to Arabs," "Baruch Goldstein was a hero," and "Arabs out." Eitan Bronstein called the police, who arrived after a few minutes and dispersed the crowd beside the hitchhiking stand. Some of the police officers looked after the cars that were left at the entrance to the village and one officer even joined the tour. The officers behaved in an exemplary fashion throughout the event.
Yakub Odeh welcomed the public to his village. Immediately afterwards we descended to the water well. The path seemed like an ordinary dirt path at first, but slowly it twisted and turned to become the path to the village of Lifta.
At the water well Yakub Odeh and Fatima Akel related their memories of the village. Fatima Akel spoke with deep and contagious emotion and another woman from Lifta joined her later on.
From there we continued to the village mosque (the one which the Regional Committee planners of the "new" Lifta did not know existed). It is a very impressive structure, partially destroyed. On the way to the mosque, we saw how the water streams through aqueducts between the houses of the village. On the roof of the mosque the Imam of Al-Aqsa, who was with us, took the microphone and called for a prayer at the site. Surprisingly, the village returned to regular activity as people prayed to their God. He sang beautifully. Afterwards about 20 people prayed at the site. We posted a sign designating the mosque.
From there we walked to the oil press and to the cemetery of the village and posted signs there too. Lifta is amazing.
During the event Eitan Bronstein received a phone call from a person threatening to take his life.
Click here for more photos by Jacob Katriel.
Lifta Tour 2005.2.25 by Omar Tesdell (1)
Lifta Tour 2005.2.25
Lifta Tour 2002.2.25 by Jacob Katriel
Lifta 2002.2.25 Jacob Katriel (13)
Lifta 2002.2.25 Jacob Katriel (11)