Hebron, South Hebron Hills
The Palestinian children are in the streets; it’s exam time. Netting has been added to the checkpoint next to Beit HaMeriva. The excavation at Tel Rumeida is being greatly enlarged; it now extends almost to the Palestinian home below that of the Abu Heikhal family.
Yesterday settlers lit a bonfire below Isa’s house. The Palestinian residents of Tel Rumeida are evaluating the damage.
South Hebron Hills
On both sides of the road the women of Palestine are bundling the harvest into sheaves.
Yesterday we read the following story (cf. the link):
“Swastikas and PLO flags were discovered this morning (Sunday) on the walls of the ancient synagogue in Samua. Participants in a special trip to the location were shocked to find the site desecrated and hateful graffiti sprayed on the walls. The trip commemorated the 80th anniversary of the inauguration of excavations at the site of the ancient synagogue; it was organized by Herzog College and the Soussiya Field School. Some 200 of the 350 conference participants visited the synagogue to view the unique structure and understand its significance to the history of the Jewish people in the area.”
We went to Samua to see for ourselves. Samua is located in Palestinian territory; red signs warn Israeli citizens against entering the area. The archaeological site is located in the center of town, adjoining the mosque.
Yesterday, in fact, five buses with settlers came there, escorted by some 200 soldiers. The visit had been coordinated with the Palestinian Authority. Three years ago the Authority fenced the entire archaeological site, locked the gates and placed a guard. We saw Palestinian flags flying from Palestinian homes nearby, not on the site. A small swastika had been drawn on one of the stones in the rubble outside the fence.
We spoke to a very old Palestinian who told us his house, which had two storeys, was destroyed in the Six Day War, in 1967. It had been adjacent to the site; since then he hasn’t been permitted to rebuild it. We saw no hate crimes or abusive graffiti. The struggle over the “narrative” – who had been there first – is the motivation for the story. No one cares about protecting the human rights of an actual living and breathing person.
His Palestinian attorney told him the Palestinian Authority wants to turn it into a tourist site.
Another of the occupation’s wonders…