Hebron, Tarqumiya, Wed 1.12.10, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Road works at the Shayoukh-Sa’ir junction, and extensive excavations – apparently for sewers, etc.
We stopped at the entrance to Hebron to wait for Ali, the person released from prison whose personal belongings remained at the prison and Michal received them yesterday to return them to him. See report from 30.11.10.
He met us after coordinating by phone with Muhammad (our driver) and got his belongings. He lives in Halhul, and because of his incarceration is prohibited from entering Israel for three months, and is unemployed.
We enter Kiryat Arba easily today, with no delays.
Curve 160 The gate is closed and the soldiers in position are pretty relaxed.
The streets are quiet; a group of Palestinian children carrying food parcels they received.
Tarpat checkpoint is quiet. Only one soldier today at Tel Rumeida! He has an 8-hour shift all on his own -- no partner! We’ve never seen anything like it during all the years we’ve been here. We kept him company for a bit and helped him pass the time a little. (He explained that he’s by himself because there’s a shortage of personnel)
After picking up two tables we’d ordered at Azzam’s metal shop we drove toward the Border Police base to see what the story was with the promised key to the gate of the adjoining neighborhood.
The sentry stops us, alarmed: We’re forbidden to drive on this road! At our request – and after some discussion – he summons the base commander, who arrives and confirms he has the key, and henceforth everything will be ok.
He also confirms what the soldier said, that we’re forbidden to drive on this road. This is the first time we’ve been told that, and finally he admits these are new orders. “Only military vehicles are allowed, and even the neighborhood’s Jewish residents (Kiryat Araba) can’t go through here to their neighborhood; they have to go around.”
In response to Michal’s report from yesterday – we’re very accustomed to the usual inspection at the crossing, including ID, questions, etc.
We were also at the grocery in Area A, but the olive oil from the press is very expensive this year!