We entered through the Tarqumiya crossing. At this hour (10:30) it was crowded primarily with trucks.
Highway 35 – few cars. The two gates, to Hebron and Halhul, are open.
In the new plaza between Hebron and Shuyukh-Sa’ir a military vehicle parks watching the crossing, even though the road is empty.
Curve 160 – two youths detained to inspect their IDs, released pretty quickly. On the way back we saw the gate open and the child in a wheelchair go through.
The area between the curve and the Cave of the Patriarchs is being renovated with funding from Spain. The interiors of the ruined buildings are being turned into lovely, clean stone structures.
The area around the Cave of the Patriarchs is empty, souvenir sellers sit with nothing to do. It’s cold, the rain pelting, the only visitors are diplomats who arrived in three official cars and are being taken around by Yehuda, from Breaking the Silence, in the area of Shuhadah Street.
Tarpat checkpoint – An electric gate has been erected in place of the metal detector that was burned, and another metal booth is still being erected by Jewish workers.
TIPH observers are parked there, and also volunteers from the Christian organizations. They told us there isn’t any way to go freely through the checkpoint, as in the past through the side gate. Everyone must go through the electric gate and return through the revolving gate.
We went up to Tel Rumeida where it turns out the excavations have acquired an official aspect – a sign directs people to them, promising a birding lookout, toilets and antiquities, all for one price!
On the way back: Highway 60 is also almost empty. It’s very busy at the southern entrance to Hebron near Beit Hagai – many vehicles leave the city through there, and quite a few enter.