All the barriers between the new and old cities of Jerusalem came crashing down today (Thursday) -- sometimes with the help of a bulldozer.
Bulldozer breaking down wall; Israelis crossing into old city; Arabs and Israelis mingling in the streets; soldiers on duty at the Mandelbaum Gate; people through Jaffa Gate; Mayor Kollek at work in his office.
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Background: All the barriers between the new and old cities of Jerusalem came crashing down today (Thursday) -- sometimes with the help of a bulldozer. Shortly before noon, a steady stream of Israelis started to make their way into the old city, while many Arabs entered the new city.
Although the Israelis still say they're ready to discuss the status of the old city, Jordanian dinars were being exchanged for Israeli pounds at a great rate in both the new and old cities today. The atmosphere was described as almost festive -- the Arabs speaking Hebrew and the Israelis welcoming Arab visitors in Arabic.
In his office, the former Mayor of the new city of Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek, was hard at work today at his new job as Mayor of all Jerusalem -- a post he acquired yesterday. Many Arab refugees are reported to be saying they're prepared to help towards a solution to the problem of Jerusalem's status as soon as peace between Israel and the Arab States is established.
Meanwhile, Arab refugees wanting to leave Israeli- occupied territory now have to apply in writing. This, say the Israelis, is designed to end accusations that they're being expelled.