Hebron, South Hebron Hills
Highway 60 is quiet. The balloon floats above Beit Haggai but the gate to Hebron below the settlement is open and traffic flows. On our way back a vehicle with water cannon to disperse demonstrations passed us on its way to Hebron. But we hadn’t heard of any unusual incidents. Later, near the Cave of the Patriarchs, there are as always many buses and visitors, but neither there or at any other checkpoint were there any detainees.
Hebron in the afternoon is filled with children returning from school.
They sit on the renovated steps at Curve 160, staring at the soldiers. The soldiers stare back. TIP volunteers observe the soldiers and the children, who feel it’s safe to stand near them. Everyone’s observing everyone else, cameras above watching them all.
Settlers’ children near Beit Hadassah, on the other hand, practice wearing the soldiers’ berets.
What fun, a wonderful militaristic childhood in Hebron.
A group of religious Islamic people walk on the Zion route, heads covered in various striped scarves. Who are they, I ask Muhammad worriedly. He laughs, says they’re members of the Islamic Da’wah. They’re the best, he says, they’re not interested in politics, hate Da’ash, want to leave quietly and in peace. They believe Islam requires respect, quiet, adherence to the commandments without wars and violence. Islamic Da’wah.
That’s good to know. They, too, are in Hebron.