Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Thu 4.10.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
The road is still slumbering, few cars and few children on their way to school.
We observed a few military vehicles – for example, at the entrance to Dahariyya (not detaining anyone).
The old/new entrance to Kiryat Arba, the northernmost, has been upgraded by a wide, two-lane road, bordered by a sidewalk, streetlights in the median.
The entrance to Hebron has been repaved up to Curve 160. Beit HaMeriva is now called “Beit Hashalom” on large signs posted around it, still closed and surrounded by fences, but the settlers are already planning their return with the help of the courts (according to leaflets they’re distributing near the Cave of the Patriarchs, littering the nearby plazas).
The Naha”l soldiers are still there. We had a conversation with a polite soldier stationed up Shuhadeh Street who made sure to tell us that his views differ from ours, but that’s ok.
Large trash containers have been placed along Shuhadeh Street; the area up the road from the Pharmacy checkpoint looks clean and festive. It seems that the rubble from the buildings in the former commercial area has also been removed, widening the road. Who did it?
The cleanliness of the Palestinian area was the complete opposite of what we saw around the Cave of the Patriarchs: the soldiers told us that 40,000 people had come during the past two days. Apparently each of them made certain to throw their garbage in the street and in the parking and picnic areas. In particular, we saw large piles of garbage opposite the souvenir stores belonging to ‘Abed and his friends.
‘Abed is annoyed, and rightly so. They were forced to close their shops for the holiday, so he couldn’t earn any money, and now that he’s again permitted to open he has to deal with the garbage left by the visitors in order to bring his mobile displays out to the space in front of the store. Even the Arab street cleaner looks despairing because of the huge piles of trash he must load into his small cart.
We also stopped by Michael’s house, which was closed and locked, but there are plants out front that someone must be watering.
A Braslav hassid immersed himself in Abraham’s Spring, deep in prayer, while armed, helmeted soldiers sat guarding him under the olive trees next to the spring. – did he pray for us also?
It was quiet and deserted as usual on our way back via Zif junction. The desert is thirsty for water, and we see hardly any sheep.