Dura-Al Fawwar Junction, Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya
We haven’t come for a month, perhaps longer, but today, particularly today, on the 98th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, it’s very important to show up.
It’s important that the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people won’t come at the expense of the Palestinians, the country’s other inhabitants.
We were afraid to enter Hebron – actually, more because of the settlers’ response than the Palestinians’, but we didn’t wish to fan the flames…
Meitar checkpoint – The parking lot is slightly emptier than usual.
Highway 60, to the Ukafim junction (the turnoff to Highway 35):
No military vehicles on the road, and almost no cars – it’s astonishing how frightened everyone seems to be. The observation balloon floating above the military base at the turn to Negohot is now over the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron (Issa told us).
All the bus stops on Highways 60, 35, 356 and 317 are now fortified:
The pillboxes all look the same, nothing special going on near them. People at the grocery at the entrance to Al-Fawwar say there are regular hours for stone-throwing and disturbances. In the afternoon, when school lets out, and after 6 PM, when prayers conclude in the mosques. They tell us traces of tear gas linger all night long. And the army patrols in Al-Fawwar and in Dura all night long.
At Kvasim junction, the man selling tamarind juice, dressed as usual, is still there. So is the pillbox, and there are no soldiers.
At Shuyukh-Sair junction, where yesterday there were disturbances, a stabbing and Palestinians were murdered, the gates have been shut, soldiers stationed, coils placed of razor wire and a wall erected around the girls’ school. No Palestinians were present when we were there.
Soldiers on site asked we not photograph them – so we didn’t.
Highway 35. Many soldiers on the Hebron-Halhoul bridge; very sparse traffic on the main road.
The owner of the grocery at Tarqumiyya tells us there are slightly fewer laborers going to work, but no more soldiers than usual. The olive press is very busy; the harvest this year is good and it doesn’t seem there were serious problems harvesting in this area.
People are angry, very angry, jumpy, and even Israeli women like us aren’t greeted with a smile or sympathetically.
Highway 317 - At the grocery at Zif junction we’re told there are no special problems. We were alone on the road the entire trip home.