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In 1943, I was born in the house behind me in Tel Rumeida neighborhood. But now it’s closed. No Palestinians can live in it. Life changed after the closure and became less comfortable. The shops near here were for my sons, the supermarkets and the metal factory. Now it is all closed. 15 people worked in that factory. The military just built a bus station [for Israeli settlers] in front of it. So, if there was any hope of reopening, it’s gone. I have five sons and six daughters—all married except for my youngest daughter. Our family cannot visit us often; it depends on the mood of the soldiers. They closed my house. They closed my shops. They closed my factory. They need us to leave, that’s it. There’s no life here. They’ve took everything. Where is the democracy when my children can’t visit us? They say, “democratic system, democratic system,” but we don’t see that. First the factory, then the shop, then the street. Step by step. They kill us slowly. I’m scared to leave the area, in case something new happens. When the settlers come here, I hear them say “it’s ours.” - Ramid abu Issa


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