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Yehudit K. Michal Tz. (report) Netanya G. (photos); Charles K. (trans.)

Many military personnel on the roads to Hebron.



The checkpoint at Beit Hameriva is closed.  Palestinian vehicles are detained.

An officer and soldiers are talking with a woman who’s not being allowed through.

A crowd gathers, a lively discussion, shouts directed toward a building next to the cemetery, someone comes running.

What happened?  It turns out not everyone may cross there in his vehicle.  Only people living in the area whose names appear in the DCO’s list.

Those are the rules, the officer says.

He looks embarrassed, polite.  The woman bought a new car and has a different license plate, so she’s being held up.  Another vehicle arrives, then another, and the man from the adjoining house is called over to translate.  Some phone calls; we’re glad to see things ended “well.”  Everyone’s allowed through.  To where?  Home.  From where?  The normal daily activities.  Why?  Because this building, which has become sort of a military position, is stuck like a bone in the throat while settlers are (for now) not allowed to live there, and now driving by is supervised and only those with permission who’ve lived here forever may use their vehicles.

And ordinary errands again become complex, unknown, stressful missions.

Anyone who wants to make problems can learn from Israel.

Imagine what will happen if settlers move into Beit HaMachpela, between two schools.

Many visitors and soldiers around the Cave of the Patriarchs.

Someone argues with a soldier next to the entrance for Moslems.  We went to find out what was going on.

The soldier is also polite, somewhat apologetic (what’s in the air at year’s end?)

The man, a Christian Arab, came with another man and two women studying abroad who are home on vacation and wanted to visit the Cave of the Patriarchs.  The men stand outside; we meet them after the argument.

“Why do you have to know my religion? If I’m neither Moslem nor Jewish, why do you care?” asks the man from Nazareth. 

Those are the rules, this soldier also says.

“Instead of asking for your ID, which would immediately tell me what I have to know, I decided to talk to you.”  “Why do you have to know my religion,” insists the man from Nazareth.  The soldier squirms.  Three Border Police soldiers come running, some female.  “Trouble?”, they ask.  Everyone says no.

We talk to the guys from Nazareth; they’re very upset.  “Do you feel as if you’ve come to another country?” I ask.  “Unquestionably,” they say.  “What’s going on here?”

“I’m not going to give up; I’m coming back,” says a young man, a Christian Arab from Nazareth who faces the racial laws for the first time at the Cave of the Patriarchs compound.