Romema

Romema (Hebrewרוממהlit. Uplifted) is a neighbourhood in northwest Jerusalem, just off the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway at the main entrance to the city. It occupies the highest hill in Jerusalem.[1][2] Romema is bordered by Kiryat Mattersdorf and Mekor Baruch.

Romema was founded on a hill outside the historical city of Lifta in 1921. The initiator of the project was attorney Yom-Tov Hamon, an expert in Ottoman law and land-ownership issues, who arbitrated disputes among Arab landowners in the region and opened sales of the land to Jews.[1] The original building plan called for 24 houses surrounding a central square.[1] The Jewish section of the neighborhood was built with private funding. Most of the original streets were named for Hebrew newspapers of the era: HaZvi, edited by Eliezer Ben-YehudaArielHaOrTorah Mitzion, and Moriah.[1] In 1931 a water reservoir was erected here.[2]

Extant architecture shows the area’s original affluence, wealth, and diversity. These include the three-story residence of Arab Haj Muhammad, who owned quarries in nearby Lifta and was a judge in the city’s Muslim courts; the elegant home of Jewish hotelier and businessman Yehiel Amdurski, and the home of Rabbi Yehuda Fishman-Maimon.[1]

By 1948, the population was diverse, with Arab, Ashkenazi and Sephardi Jewish residents.[1] At the beginning of 1948, during the Civil warChristian Palestinians and Muslim Arabs living in the Arab section of Romema as well as the nearby village of Lifta were forced out of their homes due to violence from Jewish paramilitary groups such as the Irgun, as well as clashes with Arab militia men. Due to the Absentee Property Law, Arab residents were not allowed to return to their homes by the Israeli government, a point of contention for Palestinians who held property there.[3

 

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