בית יתיר, דרום הר חברון, חברון, יום ה' 22.12.11, בוקר
Translated by Jenny L.
Today we also entered via the Meitar Crossing checkpoint with the intention of getting an impression of the story of uprooted olive trees. We stopped at the side of the road below the illegal outpost Eshtamo'a and crossed the road to get a look albeit from a distance at the orchard, part of which had been uprooted. Hardly a moment passed and from the outpost above 7 or 8 of the inhabitants already came running down, looking in our direction, with one of them making waving signs clearly implying that we should get away; get lost. At the same time, a soldier speedily ran onto the scene and when he reached the edge of the mountain aimed his weapon at us. We spontaneously all made our way back to our car so as not to further escalate the situation. We continued in the direction of Hebron, and on the way stopped at the entrance to Ngohot to talk to a group of soldiers with a jeep. We reported the incident to the officer and he promised to look into it.
Next to the southern entrance to Hebron, (which is blocked by boulders), the Israel Road Authority is carrying out roadworks.
A group of young tourists with a local guide met us at Abed's place. They are from France, Brazil and Canada and plan tomorrow to be in Bethlehem for Christmas. We're all invited up to Abed's house to talk to the guests, accompanied by a "Maklouba" feast. The show interest and we try to explain.
The plaza near the Patriachs' Cave is busier than ever, what with it being both Channukah and almost Christmas Eve, with many tourists about...
A very short visit with Azam, then we again turn south.
We travel to the Metsudat Yehuda crossing, which is near to Beit Yatir, in order to see the children who cross over from school to their homes over the border, on the Israeli side (the Abu-Gavita family), but we missed them. Nevertheless it was important for us to talk to the shift manageress at the crossing, who openly explained: "We've several times requested that they stop checking the children (in total, some 15) who cross there on a daily basis. So far the orders are to continue checking them." According to her - if we want to - we can apply to "Ramim" [Acronym for "Land Crossings Authority", subject to the Ministry of Defense].
We returned to Israel via the Meitar Crossing, and again we enjoyed the easy, positive approach that is so different to that at the Tarqumiya checkpoint.