Hebron, South Hebron Hills

Natanya (photographing), Michal (reporting) Translator: Charles K.

As Yom Kippur approaches the days are really awful.  It doesn’t seem the army and the settlers consider Palestinians to be people from whom they must ask forgiveness or seek atonement.

Increased military presence along Highway 60.  Flying checkpoints and cars detained at Dura, at the entrance to Hebron below Beit Haggai and at the Kvasim junction.



Jammed with visitors.  So much so that the vehicle entranceto the Cave of the Patriarchs compound is blocked and the parking lot is also closed.  Cars are being sent to park farther away.  Jewish children who’ve come from somewhere march down Shuhadeh street and disappear into the Shavei Hebron yeshiva or the Tarpat Museum.  Squads of Nahal soldiers come toward them.  A manned position on the roof of the abandoned market.  Soldiers on the roof of the building overlooking the worshippers route.  Groups of people of all ages arrive in buses.  All along the road from the worshippers route to Zion route soldiers are practicing various firing positions, without shooting (what luck).  A large sign invites everyone to a mass prayer at 16:30 to save Giv’at Assaf.  So I asked a policeman where Giv’at Assaf is.  He told me he’s from Arad, he doesn’t know where it is; all he knows is that he’s providing security for people attending prayer services during the ten days of repentance.  So I telephoned a friend from Hebron who didn’t know exactly where it was but he did know that yesterday and also today soldiers broke into a school located right on the worshippers route.  It used to be called “Mutanabi;” now, after renovation, the name has been changed to the Ziad Jaber School.  The soldiers were looking for pupils because, they said, stones had been thrown from the school building.  The principal and teachers decided to close the school for two days in protest.

That’s the holy city of Hebron – always terrible, and today worse than ever.