Hebron, Mon 30.1.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Top photo: A sign, “Biblical Hebron route,” in the middle of a Palestinian neighborhood
Bottom photo: Roadblock with a poster – May the Temple be built speedily in our time…
Rain, rain, rain. Schoolchildren still on vacation. What little life is possible in Hebron is affected by these two facts.
The soldiers are well bundled-up and don’t delay anyone at any checkpoint, except for one “energetic” soldier who stops us as we descend from Tel Rumeida.
“Who are you? Why were you there?”
“Machsom Watch,” we reply, “Ever hear of us?”
“No…ahhh…you’re like ‘B’Tselem,’ you’re not allowed to be there.
“Where? That’s our usual route,” we answer.
While we were having this “conversation” with him we noticed an old couple walking with difficulty up the steep road on their way to Tel Rumeida. Barely able to move. Had they not been neighbors of the settlers they could have been driven home like any normal place in the world.
“May we give them a ride home?” we ask the amazed soldier.
Our question activated the world of prohibitions and fears that guide him, to the extent that he no longer sees two old people who could have been his grandfather and grandmother, who deserve help. He looks at us as if we come from the moon. “What are you talking about?! Beat it, get out of here! You’re not allowed!” So we left.
Drops of annoying rain continue falling. Suddenly we see new slogans on Shuhadah Street that we haven’t seen before on the barred windows of the houses, as well as graffiti of the settlers.
Two squads of soldiers patrol the Gross Square area. They seem to have returned from the Abu Sneineh neighborhood to Shehadah Street, almost completely covered, with balaclavas on their heads as well.
When they see the cameras they yell, “Aren’t you ashamed to photograph us?!” And also curses. We don’t respond, they switch to English. Their commander shuts them up.
They continued to Shuhadah Street, we went home.
That’s Hebron, practically the entire story right there.