South Hebron Hills
We entered through the Tarqumiya crossing and drove south to Umm-el-Hir to visit the small kindergarten where Huda’s sister works together with two more women (kindergarten teachers?). The kindergarten is fairly spare; the children are very cute, of course, happy to see us, playing and dancing with us. They enjoy seeing the photos Raya takes of them. We hadn’t originally planned to go there – we regretted not having brought the bundles of clothes and toys we had collected. We’ll try to be better organized in the future.
We drove through the village of Ka’av, which we weren’t familiar with. It has a large school, a relatively large amount of vegetation (even a few mature pine trees) and built homes, some of them large and attractive.
We continued to Umm Faqra; Fadel and his two wives welcomed us. They invited us to the smoky cave they live in; we spent time with three of their nine children, were offered pita and labaneh – all produced by them, of course. As we left the village we encountered the children who’d been driven home from school and were walking to the village.
Back via Highway 60. We saw no problems at the Al-Fawwar junction. The southern entrance to Hebron that opened is well-marked with red signs of Area A. We saw no soldiers.
Time grew short. We returned to Tarqumiya, stopped briefly at our friendly grocery store, and crossed again with no problems (this morning we’d complimented a staffer on the recent procedural improvements. Let’s hope they continue).