This time we outsmarted the Tarqumiyya checkpoint staff, met M., our driver, at the grocery at the entrance to the village, and also parted from him there at the conclusion of our shift. We did so to see how we’re treated when we leave, unaccompanied by the driver. And in fact, we weren’t detained when we left, weren’t inspected, were asked almost nothing.
It’s raining, and we drive from Tarqumiyya to Hebron in dense fog, very slowly.
Before the army base next to the Federman farm, a new sign: “Road being widened to two lanes.”
Signs in Kiryat Arba: “Donate to the poor for Passover, urges Rabbi David Le’or.”
On top of Beit Hameriva, a military post and a soldier under camouflage netting.
At ‘Abed’s shop, opposite the Cave of the Patriarchs, they tell us that Muhammad, the son, will start working at the Tourist Information Center to be set up in the vacant shop adjoining his.
They showed us the renovation – carried out with the help of HRC and the Red Cross.
The holiday is approaching and they say next Sunday and Monday they’re not permitted to open the shop.
That harms their income, because there would be many customers on those days. The prohibition has been in effect since 2004.
We noticed military activity next to a house opposite the parking area (behind the Cave of the Patriarchs): soldiers, vehicles and a tractor. The explanation: the house is abandoned and its Palestinian owner was here yesterday and formally and officially notified an Israeli officer that he agrees, and now they’re preparing to take it over, and soon will raise a flag…
At ‘Azzam’s metal shop we meet, among others, an Israeli resident of the Telem settlement, a metalworker who’s ‘Azzam’s business partner. That’s how ‘Azzam is increasing his business, now making chairs and other items, and selling them in Israel. They all say they have no difficulty living together, they’re all friends, visit one another.
It turns out this settler was once an extremist (Kahana), but since starting to work with ‘Azzam has gradually grown less extreme (religiously as well), and become a friend: “We’re all human beings, we’re all the same.”
‘Azzam’s brother claims everyone despairs of Abu-Mazen and the corruption, and many prefer Hamas.