There was no checking in Ha'Nevi'im St,
so we continued toward the Old City via Damascus gate. From the
local traders we learned that the last couple of weeks were
relatively quiet. 3 border policemen soldiers were talking to one
of the merchants in what seemed to be an ordinary chat. A few
seconds later they left. The "Muristan" area (Church of
the Holy Sepulchre) was deserted. Not even one tourist on site. The
settlers' children were playing undisturbed at the piazza. A local
merchant said that there were no fights with them. Two security
officers were sitting at the entrance of the settlers' home. We
wondered on whose payroll they are. Many of the people with whom we
spoke complained about the hard times with no tourists, no work and
no money. They also told us about the hardship caused by the
checkpoints. One said that sometimes it takes him 3 hours to get
from Eizariye to the Old City, a journey that in regular times
takes no more than few minutes. Back to Damascus gate, a shop owner
told us about the harassments he suffers from the yeshiva students.
He showed us his broken vitrines, his broken pottery and his broken
teeth!!! -- all caused by the yeshiva hooligans. He thinks they
want him to despair and leave. He also said that he had filed a
complaint with the police, but nothing had been done.