Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Thu 29.4.10, Morning
Guests: Dahlia and Soreen.
All is quiet. Three trucks are lined up at the control post. On the Israeli side some twenty men wait to be picked up by their employers.
Dura Alfawwar: As we approach Dura we encounter a few Palestinian cars on the road. The crossroads/checkpoint is open and traffic, such as it is, flows. A few pedestrians risk their lives on the margins of the road, including school-children. Quite a bit of donkey transport, including 4 happy little souls on the back of one small beast.
Hebron - or: "the ghost town"
The Pharmacy Checkpoint: A sign of life here for a change, the boys are playing on their way into school and laughing and smiling at us. At the checkpoint an angry man in dark glasses and an elegant suit is waiting by a car for something. It turns out he is a local Israeli whose car broke down last night and is still waiting for repairs. The checking of the school children's bags is spasmodic and, of course, arbitrary. As we wait, a soldier, bristling like a porcupine with equipment comes up to us with a winning smile and asks who, what and why. He has never heard of MachsomWatch but is very interested. He assures us that all is quiet, all is well. And then blurts out that actually there was a small local incident that morning. A very violent demonstration - slogans, flags, shouts, stones. Settlers? we ask. No, on the contrary, he replies. Locals. Was anyone injured? No. Well, there were some bruises and blows.
Nothing serious. it shouldn't happen though. We concur.
On a lighter note, a member of the Christian Peacemakers Team (CPT) comes over and asks about red-headed Tamar whom he hasn't seen for some time and please to give her regards from Alwin...
Tel Rumeida, Beit Hadassah
Dead. We saw 3 Palestinians walking, inveitably, and several settler children waiting for their transportation to school, that's it.
The Patriarchs' Cave and Worshippers Route (Tsir Hamitpalelim): The sqare is empty, Gutnick is silent and one of the windows has a sign 'To Let'. Should be a bargain. On the steps we encounter a group of Hassidim escorting their Rebbe to pray at the spot which in the bad/good old days marked the closest point where Jews were permitted to enter.
The lane going up towards Kiryat Arba is deserted. The temporary blockades erected at Pesach are still there, presumably their due date has not yet arrived. We even spot what seems to be a new one, or maybe we just didn't notice it before. At the top end of the lane, on the left, there is a military vehicle and several soliders close to the blockade at the end of the main road.
On the return journey there are two rolling checkpoints one at the entrance to Bani Naim and the other just a hundred meters or so along the road. Safety in numbers?
At the entrance to Route 60, another military vehicle and soldiers are stationed who were not there when we arrived.