Hebron, South Hebron Hills
We arrived in Hebron when children come home from school.
All pass through the metal detectors at the Pharmacy and Tarpat checkpoints. There’s no doubt this Hebron childhood is special. Everything proceeds quietly today.
Golani soldiers are stationed at more locations than usual. Everywhere in the deserted wholesale market, in the Avraham Avinu neighborhood. At the end of the Worshippers’ route a soldier kneels behind a concrete barricade pointing his weapon at the large, renovated school. We couldn’t understand why. After a while he starts walking around again, no longer on the alert.
At ‘Abed’s souvenir shop next to the Cave of the Patriarchs about 20 tourists from Norwegian churches have finished lunch. He offers it in a shop adjoining his. He’s happy to introduce us to them and tells them about these wonderful Israeli women who help them. They’re pleased to meet us, say they’ve heard about us, but not much, so I referred them to read about us on Google.
In response to my question, ‘Abed says children are arrested daily and their parents fined heavily. He says that only last week the arrest of the three children ended without a fine thanks to our involvement and the presence of one of our members at the police station when the children were brought there. Yesh Din staff also were involved.
Soldiers stop us at the entrance to Shuhadeh Street and ask only for the driver’s ID. As usual, we demand they also inspect our IDs. This time they agree and inspect ours even though it’s clear he “benefits” from such treatment only because he isn’t Jewish, and though his ID is blue like ours it doesn’t grant him equal treatment.
The pastoral landscape surrounding us and along Highway 60 is flourishing. Everything is green. Flocks of sheep everywhere, enjoying the lush vegetation.
For a moment you could imagine everything’s normal here.