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July 2004
Diary of an artist in Bethlehem
Har Homa settlement built on palestinian land  (between Bethlehem and Jerusalem) - a veiw for all  Palestinians of  Bethlehem by Paul Gent.
Har Homa settlement built on Palestinian land - a veiw for all Palestinians of Bethlehem by Paul Gent.
Leicestershire artist Paul Gent is spending the summer in Palestine working with families whilst creating some stunning art - read his diary.
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Paul Gent is an artist from Leicestershire who has travelled to Palestine to work with families and children

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Friday 25 June

The children have destroyed some of the Mosaic with stones - bless them! Thank God I am not in the Israeli Defence Force.

Evening: Sat and relaxed with agila pipe and a couple of beers at the 'Shepherds valley tent' with the other members of the Holy Land Trust.

Met Mahlan and Muta, a dancer and musician who do a lot of work with the local community and have reached as far as Derby and Shepton Mallet.

Mahlan told me three years ago, an Israeli shell blew somebody to pieces in the space where we were sitting. I was at that time smoking agila on the other side of Sheperd's field.

They asked me if it seemed different here to three years ago when I last stayed in Bethlehem. I replied that besides the new segregation wall, I noticed there were no Palestinian soldiers on the streets in the Bethlehem area anymore, and physically, the Bethlehem area seemed more peaceful.

"The soldiers are not allowed any more the Israeli can decide anything, now we have a new Police force here instead," Replied Mahlan.

"In the minds of the people here, it is a lot worse, you will notice that people don't smile so much here anymore. We have lost nine of our friends in the last two years.

"At the beginning of the Intifadah, we were hopeful and thought things would change for the better. We thought it would end in a few months, now it has been four years and we have no energy left, we are all tired."

Paul Gent

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