Hebron, South Hebron Hills
Today I learned that for the past two months Palestinians holding a magnetic card are permitted to enter Israel to work without having to obtain a permit – if they’re over 55.
Previously they had to be over 60.
They look for work on their own and usually find it, particularly construction workers. It’s worthwhile for employers to hire them because they don’t have to obtain authorization from the Ministry of Labor, which costs money.
The Palestinians hope that soon the age threshold will drop to 50. There’s a chance because there’s a great shortage of skilled construction workers (housing is expensive)…so the occupation is becoming slightly less onerous for some people.
We felt today it was silent as the grave.
Simple arithmetic tells us the occupation has continued for 48 years – and Israel is celebrating independence. It seems paradoxical to me.
Here’s how things look today:
Detainees at the ‘Abed checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs:
Beit Hameriva checkpoint:
The Pharmacy checkpoint and the lane of stairs beside it (from the Palestinian side):