Hebron, Mon 21.5.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Everything’s as usual all along the way. No laborers at the checkpoint, Highway 60 is quiet with normal traffic, nothing out of the ordinary.
What will we report on today, I asked; it’s bearable when nothing unusual occurs, but it’s also boring.
“Wait,” said Hagit. So I waited.
The “Nofei Mamreh” neighborhood at the entrance to Kiryat Arba is still separated physically from the rest of the town. Not all the valley lands of the Jaber family have been expropriated yet.
But extensive infrastructure works are underway here; it looks like the road is being widened. “The sons’ road to the patriarchs’ city,” or perhaps some other project? We’ll wait and see.
Hebron never disappoints. There’s never a dull moment.
This holy city is filled today with visitors. Border Police soldiers are everywhere, on the roofs as well.
The large lot between Beit Hamachpela and the Cave of the Patriarchs is filled many kinds of buses. Their signs say they’re from Mate Binyamin and Drom Har Hevron.
One group of buses is wrapped in settlers, pupils and their teachers. Circles of boys dance next to the signs reading, “We bought, we paid, it’s ours” – great joy.
“Od Avinu,” “Am Yisrael…” and other songs sound loudly In the background. A little farther off is another bus wrapped in women and children from the same places.
They all came to support and encourage those sitting in the protest tent. Afterwards they too, like so many others today, will visit the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Deafening Chassidic music also plays in the plaza outside, where many school tours take the required “values education” route.
At another end of that same broad plaza park buses carrying Moslem tourists from India.
But they’re not allowed to ascend the same stairs to the plaza. They walk around to the end of Shuhada street, turn right, cross to the Moslem half of the sidewalk divided along its entire length – those who pray to Elohim; those who pray to Allah. They enter the tomb of the Patriarch Abraham through the Moslem entrance.
Later they’ll return by the same route, descend broken, wobbly steps that only they can use, go back to the buses to continue their journey through the holy land.
We continued. This city of absurdities carries on as usual. A squad of soldiers marches along Shuhada street. Anat Cohen pops out of her car; she has something to say to one of them.
Soldiers as usual at the Tarpa”t, Tel Rumeida and Pharmacy checkpoints. No one was detained this time.
Orit Struck also passes by the Tarpa”t checkpoint, photographs the truck that stopped to distribute ice cream pops to the soldiers. On the counter, in addition to the ice cream and a smile, the soldiers will also see a charity collection box. Too much “sanctity” for one day.
We drove back to the day-to-day, to buy vegetables and labaneh.