Ronnie Firer

Shortly after the battles ended in Jerusalem, Roni Forer, who was seventeen in 1967, took his motorcycle and rode around Jerusalem much as he had done before the war. He reached the area of ​​ Sultan’s Pool at the foot of Mount Zion, which had been the border of Israeli sovereignty in the city before the war, looked up at the Old City, and then without much thought, continued up the road leading to Jaffa Gate. Up until the war, this area had been a no-man’s-land that separated Jordan from Israel. Now, there was no one to stop him from entering.

When Roni arrived at the Jaffa Gate, an Engineering Corps bulldozer was stationed there, working on re-opening the wall that was first opened for Kaiser Wilhelm’s visit in 1898, and which the Jordanians blocked. Forer was the only civilian at the gate among the soldiers, and he took out his camera and photographed in a format that was then the height of technology – color slides. He documented the efforts of the engineering soldiers until they eventually succeeded in destroying the wall built by the Jordanians and restoring the opening’s original size. When one of the officers asked him how he had reached the gate, Forer pointed to the road on which he rode, and the officer’s response was, “Good! There are probably no land mines there!”