Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Mon 24.9.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
06:30 – 10:00
A great deal of infrastructure work underway in Hebron.
Almost nothing out of the ordinary all the way to Hebron. The observation balloon isn’t up either. Pupils walk by the side of the road.
On Highway 60, in the middle of nowhere a little before Sham’a, a group of little children waits by the roadside. This is the first time we see here something that looks like transportation for residents of a nameless locality. Who? What? How? It’s not clear.
The main entrance to Hebron through Kiryat Araba has been reopened after a few months renovating “the sons’ route to the city of the patriarchs.” A magnificent road, landscaping underway.
More development projects along the way from the Nofei Mamreh neighborhood to Kiryat Arba and Hebron that have to be kept track of:
At the entrance to the H2 area, below Beit Hameriva, ditches being dug for water and electric lines – for whom!? Three guesses.
People living there show us the route of the water pipe from Kiryat Arba to the Jewish neighborhoods in Hebron, bypassing the Palestinian residents.
“We have running water only once a month!!” they say. All the rest comes from tanks on the roofs which they refill during the fixed times that water flows from their faucets, and which they use sparingly, of course. And in the nearby pipes, “joyously the water flows” all the time, but only to the Jewish homes.
People living next to Beit Hameriva know about, and can see, the IDF’s preparations to leave the building. They’re very worried, because when the settlers return their lives will again become hell, even worse than before. They say it was quiet during the year the IDF held the building.
Let’s hope the Minister of Defense understands the settlers must not be permitted to move back into the heart of this neighborhood, unless he’s nostalgic for an intifada.
Despite the intent to create a continuous corridor from Kiryat Arba to Hebron, someone should also think sanely.
The Border Police are again guarding a yellow gate topped by dangling barbed wire on which plastic bags and rags have been caught. If they so desire, they’ll allow this lunatic gate and all its accretions to rise, and if they wish they’ll admit adults and children only through the revolving gate. And for what?!
Because there are people who live next to the Cave of the Patriarchs, but the schools there are full, and the children must go to schools in the Jebel Johar and Abu Sneina neighborhoods and return to their homes near the Cave of the Patriarchs. On their way there and back they must pass under the watchful eyes of the IDF and “enjoy” this weird, unnecessary and wicked gate.
The Israel Electric Company is also working there on infrastructure; later we’ll understand why and for whom.
The foreman from Jerusalem observes us scornfully: “I’m here 24 hours a day. There aren’t any problems. Are you bored? Go volunteer in Yad Sarah.”
He stands regally, calmly watching the operation of the checkpoint.
His workers listen to us silently. It appears by their nods that they’re more likely to agree with us, but they don’t utter a word.
The more we are tortured…
Many buildings right there abut the rear of the holy compound. They were abandoned years ago, in troubled times.
In the past year, with the encouragement of the Palestinian Authority and financed by international organizations, the buildings are being renovated; people living in area H1 are being encouraged to move next to the Cave of the Patriarchs compound.
People who’d paid NIS1000/month in H1 will have to pay only NIS300.
That’s how “Palestinian settlers” are redeeming their forefathers’ legacy.
Hebron is simmering and seething, infrastructure works, road paving, pipe laying, electricity, water – by whom? For whom!? Both sides build, both sides grasp the land. A struggle both hidden and overt. Everyone inhales fear and hatred.
Soldiers at every corner, settlers’ cars speed along the roads reserved for them.
The soldiers have left Beit HaMachpela, and the protest shifts are no longer necessary. The day isn’t far off when they’ll also be allowed to return.
The state of Israel demonstrates by its behavior that Hebron is second in importance only to Jerusalem, and ignores the rights of the non-Jews who live there.
“A wretched, crazy, worrisome little place.” I’ll be glad to be proven wrong.