Ruth and Abel De Jung are the ninth family to leave due to repeated harassment by local residents. The only Jewish resident to remain in the village is Margalit Zinati, whose family has lived in Peki'in for centuries.
The De Jungs, both Holocaust survivors, emigrated from Holland to Israel four months ago, and are now considering returning to Holland. In the meantime they are staying with friends, as they currently have no place to live.
Ruth and Abel's son, Gabriel, and his wife Elizabeth, have already left the village with their two sons three months ago, and now reside in the community of Katzir.
"We chose to come to Peki'in from Holland. We wanted to live in a place where people of all religions live side by side. At first we were very much respected, and paid our neighbors in kind," Gabriel recounted. "Until one day, my son came home crying and said that the children in his kindergarten no longer call him by his name, but al-Yahud (the Jew)."
Zegelman family's house after the riots (Photo: Gil Sapir)
Gabriel and Elizabeth have no plans of returning to their Peki'in house, which was purchased from a Christian family, at least not in the near future. "We have a lot of anger in our hearts. On the day of the riots I arrived at the village and couldn't bear to say hello to my friends there," said Gabriel.
Aviv Zegelman and his wife, Orit, left the village with their six children after their house was burned to the ground during last month's riots. They stated that they would return to Peki'in "only after tensions subside and the police confirm that it's safe. At the moment we have nothing to come back to, and it's very dangerous there."