Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Sun 14.8.11, Morning
Road No. 60
little traffic, and side roads open. Near the Matak Yehuda (local DCO), east of Beit Haggai, there appears to be some sort of military exercise, with many army vehicles parked just off the highway.
Entrance to Kiriat Arba
the entry road has been renovated so that there are now 4 lanes, and new bus stops. Your taxes at work.
Standing at the lookout above Havat Federman(Federman Farm), an illegal outpost set up by prominent settler leader Noam Federman, former leader of the KachParty. It has been repeatedly dismantled by the army, but it's obvious that people are still living there. In addition to three cars, and several makeshift structures, there is an Indian-style teepee.
The city is quiet and almost empty.
The Gutnik Center in front of the Patriarchs' Cave Tomb has been renovated & upgraded. A new pergola boasts the slogan "Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria."
The army base on Shuhada St. has again opened its entry gates so that settlers can use it as a short cut to the adjacent Avraham Avinu neighborhood. This after a ruling last February by the commander of the Hebron Brigade that this was forbidden – in other words, it is against military orders to open the gate to anyone but military personnel. The sign forbidding non-military personnel from entering has been taken down. The huge gate, decorated with the emblems of the various units serving there, now carries additional artwork obviously carried out by settlers, and the huge title above all – "Havron – Hibbur" (hevron = connection, correct linguistic analysis but obviously Jewish-oriented, i. e., sectorial rather than Israeli-neutral.)
Leah gets out of the van and energetically explains this to the young soldiers, who seem to find this amusing, but do not reply.
Further along Shuhada street, another passageway between Palestinian houses linking the street to the adjoining neighborhood has been blocked by cement and stones.
We return to the Meitar CP at 10:15. The female guard asks where Shahar is. (She's the student volunteer who has now gone abroad.)
N.B. Question for anyone who knows: In 2008 Peace Now submitted a petition to the High Court requesting that the army evacuate settlers residing inside the Hebron Military Base referred to above. Was the petition ever heard by the court, and what was the outcome? Are there still Jewish non-military residents of Hebron living on the base? (I've sent a message to Peace Now to ask about this.)