Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Wed 5.5.10, Morning
By 6:45 there are very few people crossing. We went to check around the carousels where a small crowd, mostly women, was waiting to pass through, passengers on the buses taking families to visit prisoners. Under the roofed-in area, a coffee-seller was doing a great trade. Further away, several stalls were also doing good business. We were approached, individually, by two different people who wanted advice about permits. Unfortunately we were unable to help.
Dura Alfawwar crossing: All quiet, very few cars and pedestrians - several crazy drivers so thank goodness for Muhammed who never loses his cool!
Pharmacy Checkpoint: Very quiet here one sleepy soldier casually checks a middle-aged man with the metal detector. A CPTer confirms the 'peacefulness'. He tells us that the Saturday demonstration was quite peaceful, no arrests but he knows nothing of the 'violent' demonstration reported by the checkpoint commander last week.
Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave: quiet.
Shuohada Street and Tel Romeida: deserted.
We drive up to Palestinian Tel Rumeida and on the return route see two small patrols of soldiers stopping passers by. The ID check is swift though and no detainees. The soliders in full battle-dress including the camoflauge hats that look like giant shower caps, refuse to tell us why they are there, although the commander mumbles something about an alert. Alert or harrassment? Who knows.
At the exit from Kiryat Arba, on the north end, giant shufflers dig into the hillside. This bodes ill for Ata Jaber whose home on the west side of the hill is unlkely to hold its ground for long. Opposite, on a hill on the north side, there are two or three caravans and several cars maybe heralding the birth of a new settlement.