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Hours after a gag order was lifted on the details of the disappearance of Rose Pizam, her neighbors seemed shocked by the news that she was apparently killed by her grandfather Ronny Ron, and refrained from talking to reporters.

"We only know them from afar, from passing by each other in the staircase," many neighbors said.

One neighbor, A., agreed to speak to the press, but refused to have his name printed. "I saw the little girl maybe once, that's it," he said. "I would often see Ronny [Ron] strolling with his two girls in the neighborhood. Marie[-Charlotte Renault, the girl's mother], would also walk with them occasionally. There was a big party for the building's tenants at Hanukkah. Marie was already pregnant with her second child, and the two looked like a pretty normal couple."

The Rons moved to Netanya a year ago after they sold their house in Modi'in, and rented an apartment in Netanya. Acquaintances say they sold the house to fund their legal battle to seize custody of Rose from her father, who lived with her in France.

"I know them very superficially," said Y., who works at the apartment building where they lived. "They are a nice couple who paid rent every month when it was due. A civilized and polite couple. They did not appear then as they do now."

Y. said he saw Rose a few months ago. "Suddenly this kid [Rose] appeared, and then she vanished just as quickly as she appeared," he recalled. Most of the building's residents believed she had returned to France, he added.

A relative of the couple spoke of Rose's ordeal of moving between countries. "She had a tough life," she said. "She switched institutions and countries: France, Netanya, France and then Netanya again. Her father in France sent her to an institution, and she was with him only part of the time. She had a tough life."

'Charming girl'

"They said she looked sad, but she was a charming girl who smiled a lot and seemed full of joy," said R., a neighbor of Rose's great-grandmother Vivien Yaakov. Rose was placed under Vivien's care for several months. "Sometimes she was left home alone. But I also saw her playing with Vivien and running around the neighborhood."

The neighbor's adopted daughter said she would often see Rose playing alone in Vivien's backyard. The girl said Rose had trouble making friends because she spoke only French. "She would always say shalom, perhaps because that's the only word she knew in Hebrew," the neighbor said. "I know Vivien tried to teach her the language."

However, R. claims to have seen Rose much more recently than when Vivien claims she disappeared. R. and several other neighbors said he saw Rose alive in June. Police confirmed that they have other reports that Rose was seen alive in June.