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  Living in the Settlements
Updated 25 June 2004, 16.21
Press Packer Efrat with her brother Shmuel and her sister Osnat
Press Packer Efrat with her brother Shmuel and her sister Osnat

Efrat and her family are Jewish. They live in Shiloh. This is a Settlement - an area of land that, under international law, doesn't belong to Israel.

Some Jews live there because they believe the land should be part of Israel. Efrat's big brother, Noam, was killed when he was at work.


Noam was shot dead when he was working in the kitchens at a Yeshiva, a place where students study religious texts. Can you tell me what happened?

One Saturday he was on rota, with three others. Two terrorists came in and killed them. They found him by the door - they said he had locked the door. There were another 70 lads eating in the Yeshiva on Shabbat [The sabbath, a Jewish holy day].

So he saved the others by locking the door?

Yes.

How did Noam's death affect you?

We weren't that close because he's 10 years older than me which is a pretty big age difference. But to start with I was really sad that we weren't that close and that we never really had a chance to talk.

It was like that I was waiting for the time that I'd grow up and then we would be close to each other. Then I felt disappointed that that would never really be.

After what happened to Noam are you more scared to live in Shiloh, more scared for yourself and your family?

Not really. Because I really like Shiloh I don't think there's that much of a problem. If someone's going to die, then they'll die. That's what I believe, it's part of my faith in God.

If someone needs to be next to God, he will be. That's why I'm not so scared of living here.

Do you want peace?

I only want them to be good. How can they prove to us that they'll be good. I don't believe them now.

Have you ever met a Palestinian child?

No.

Would you want to?

No.

People get attacked for living in the settlements - so why do people still live here?

From what I understand, this land, if we don't stay here, they'll belong to the Arabs. We want them to belong to the Jews.

God gave us the Land Of Israel and that the Land Of Israel is a place that Jews should be in. That we should take land so that we could rebuild the Temple. This is what I believe.

What is a regular day like for you?

I get up, it's two minutes walk to school. There are girls at school from nearby settlements.

We've been together for eight years, and it's good to see each other every day. It's more fun at the moment because we're doing an end of year show and that's really good fun. We don't always stay in Shiloh. We travel, meet other friends.

Do you like living here?

Sometimes it's really good to live here. There are good people here. It's quiet, I feel like it's my place. There aren't lots of people all around, it's my place.

More InfoBORDER=0
Why is it in the news?

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Ellie's diaries from the Middle East
I was on a bus when it was blown up.
My brother was a suicide bomber
The barrier goes through my garden

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BBC Links
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Bullying guide

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