Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Mon 14.11.11, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
By 6:45 the Palestinian side was already empty of workers; they’re waiting on the Israeli side for their employers and are on their way to work.
Route 60 is quiet and deserted.
We reached the Kvasim junction without delay, but not before we tried to understand what had happened at Beit Haggai and beyond.
We slowed down, assuming, and hoping, that wherever the soldiers are they’re checking cars more carefully, and we wanted them to become familiar with ours [if they hadn’t noted it earlier], so there wouldn’t be any mistakes…
We didn’t see an army presence there today either. No soldiers came down from pillboxes anywhere along the way.
It’s quiet, many children on their way to school.
Many representatives of peace groups and TIPH at every checkpoint.
They’re all monitoring the children’s crossings.
The soldiers don’t detain anyone; all pass through the scanner without anyone interfering.
A group of teachers who live near the Cordova school are on their way there. They don’t have to go through the checkpoint. The others continue to make a long detour to avoid going through the scanner. Neither side compromised its principles.
CPT activists remind us that this Saturday a special event will be held because of the “Hayyei Sara” torah portion. Another “Jewish exception” day on which everyone’s invited to come pray at the Cave of the Patriarchs to commemorate the death and burial of Sarah the matriarch. On that day, the Hebron settlers invite [even more enthusiastically than usual] everyone to demonstrate their right to possess the entire land, and Hebron in particular. The peace groups express their fear that the settlers will be more aggressive to the Palestinians that day. We hope not, but ask them to call us if necessary.
Since nothing out of the ordinary was going on, and the occupation routine was demoralizing as ever, we could leave Hebron early. We decide to continue on Route 60 to Beit Umar. The road was lovely, pastoral. The vineyards were glorious in their autumn colors. What a misleading landscape.
The pillboxes rise all along the way; the army’s presence has also increased, starting from Karmei Tzur. The observation balloon floats above Beit Umar.
We turn left at the Gush Etzion junction, toward the Jaba checkpoint. It’s manned by the military police. We wonder how long they’ll be there. For some reason, the soldiers are much more flexible, less strict. They “make do” with asking where we’re coming from, a quick, superficial inspection of our ID cards, and “cause no trouble.” The crossing was “pleasant.” From there we drove through the Elah Valley to Highway 6, and then home.
What a “lovely trip” we had.