Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Mon 15.8.11, Afternoon
Left at 16:00
Workers were returning home earlier than usual due to Ramadan. They cross the border quickly. Also on the Palestinian side, there was much commotion, happiness, and joy: prisoners had been released from Israeli prisons and were greeted upon their return by women, men, children, and elderly relatives, the beating of drums and keening. The parking area was crowded with the cars of those waiting for the prisoners to return.
Several kilometers from the crossing, we saw that the army had stopped a car with a returning prisoner and his family to check their identification. We continued on route 60 which is being tarred for about a kilometer from the entrance to Yatir. This is a relatively new section of the road so it is not clear why it is being tarred. What is clear is that our taxes are paying for this road work.
Near Dura-Elfawwar there were several army vehicles on the side of the road. Soldiers were standing on both sides of the road and on the traffic island. There were also soldiers near the drinking water pool on the Elfawwar side of the road and in the fields across from the houses. They all had their guns drawn. We got down from the van to ask what was going down. We didn’t get a clear answer, just a smile, a wave of a hand, and something about youngsters throwing stones over there. On the road itself, traffic was flowing freely.
Quiet. It was the hour that preparations were beginning for the meal to break the Ramadan fast (yesterday a local salesperson told me that they eat at 3:30 in the morning and then sleep until 13:00). While walking along Shuhda Street, we looked in the direction of Hadassah House and at the entry, could see two young children in bathing suits playing in a big plastic pool filled with water that ran over the sides of the pool onto the entry way. In stark contrast, across the street, if you look up beyond the barred windows to the roof, you will see the water containers that provide water to the Palestinian occupants who use it sparingly because it is so scrace..