Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tue 1.1.13, Morning
We set out later than usual but Route 60 was no busier than usual, except for a lot of trucks with building materials and heavy equipment. Near the village of Sweiki we noted some heavy equipment at work and planned to investigate on our way back. It did not work out so would the next shift please keep a look out. Near Beth Hagai we spotted several police and army vehicles, all seemingly deserted. As Natanya was on her way from Jerusalem, I went alone to have a look and found a lone police officer, who rather rudely declined to answer my questions. Finally he asked if I had heard of the 83 year old woman who was raped in Tel-Aviv - what was the relevance of the question? Sub-text: if you wander around asking questions and supporting Palestinians see what fate awaits you. And its very troubling that the subject should have been raised in the context of a (senior) citizen asking a legitimate question of the forces of law and order.. So are you looking for rapists? I ask (as I spotted a number of police, including special unit in black uniforms pottering about the hills above the main road,' Yes. we are looking for rapists'. Dead end. M suggests, it seems correctly, that they were looking for illicit water pipes by means of which the Palestinians 'steal' water. Rape of the Promised Land, the question is just who is the rapist.
Hebron as usual. two young detainess, residents of H2 and moving around H2, at Bend 160. The Border Policeman has never heard of MW, and no, he isn't bored, there's lots to do there. Like releasing the detainees, which he does with despatch. at the entrance to the parking lot near Abed Square the Border Police have set up a barrier. "Are you Jew" We all answer in the affirmative but I cannot resist, as he opens the barrier for us, and ask what he would have done if we were not Jews. No problem but he needs to know who he is letting in. Natanya and M shut me up and we pass. At Tel Romeida a soldier asks if we are tourists, and if we are Israeli why we bought at the local store. Our answer that its cheaper there seems to satisfy him, and, again, we pass.
At the apartheid section of the Worshipers' Alley the residents assure us that all is fine. But all is so very much not fine here!