I could still hear the voices….
Wadi Salib, lit. Valley of the Cross, is a semi-abbandoned neighbourhood located in the heart of Downtown Haifa.
It was established in 1761 near the old city walls and it was populated mainly by Muslim and Christian Palestinians. It preserved it’s arab majority even during the arrival of Jewish settlers in the early 20th century.
During the Nakba in 1948, 60,000 Palestinians left the city to escape from ethnic cleansing. To most of them wasn’t permitted to come back to their home in Wadi Salib and in other areas as the buildings belonging to the Palestinian refugees were confiscated by the Israeli government under the Absentee Property Law. These land proprieties were leased to Jewish immigrants encouraging their settlement in the neighbourhood, therefore it’s not a casuality if after 1948 the inhabitants were mostly Jewish survivors of the Holocaust and later on Maroccan Jewish.
Currently, the Jews and Arabs living in the quarter are considered squatters.