Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Tue 25.12.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
We crossed via Tarqumiya today also and, for a change, we were inspected on entering, but by the police (“normal,” we were told), not by the company operating the checkpoint. In any case they weren’t interested in my ID, only M.’s (our driver), to our embarrassment. We thought of seeing what would happen if we entered and left in my own car and met the van a little farther on.
Signs in the area: “Something new begins – Naftali Bennett.”
The worshippers’ route is open, with no soldiers. Many pupils in the streets after school - because of the strike or exams, we were told.
It’s pretty quiet at ‘Abed’s. His son says there have been fewer tourists since the “Pillar of Cloud” operation.
A training tour of a tourist guide course from Jerusalem. The leader inquires why the shops are closed, what’s happening. The Nahal soldiers are still here.
A number of men have gathered at Tel Rumeida awaiting representatives of the local administration who will be coming with representatives of the Civil Administration. They’re coming to find out about the new military orders some of the residents of Tel Rumeida have received – the Palestinians, of course – regarding access to the upper part of the road. Some are members of the Abu Aysha family who live up at the end of the road; they have a special access permit but their guests, family members or a doctor are prevented from entering and reaching them.
They show us a blocked courtyard, what’s left of their factory that made copper utensils and employed 25 people; it’s abandoned and neglected because the Israeli authorities shut it down.
Religious tourists emerge from two buses and walk up, something we’re not allowed to do.
Again we meet Yitzhak Ben-Hevron, who was born in Hebron and returned to live here after the Six Day War. He says he’s friends with everyone and doesn’t get involved in the conflict.
We met a group of local notables at the checkpoint near ‘Azam’s place, accompanied by Attorney Samr Shehada, a resident of Sakhnin who has an office in Jerusalem and represents the residents vis-à-vis the Israeli representative. The latter is accompanied by an officer, all in connection with the military orders that apparently have to do with the checkpoints, and may include new elements or changes. We weren’t able to understand what was involved. They’re planning to stop at all those locations, a total of about 30.
We had sweet tea for dessert at ‘Azam’s magnificent new office.