Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Tue 2.9.08, Morning
Clarification: the Palestinian Authority has moved to winter time – so whilst we arrived at the CP at 06:00, for the Palestinians it was only 05:00.
Workers pass immediately and without any problems – they have complained that on return time, there are many disputes between workers and prisoners' families, but the problem is immediately and efficiently handled and CP commanders open up additional checking positions. Kiosks are shut due to Ramadan.
The road leading to Shumeria and Eshkolot: We went there because I saw a Fiat Uno just like the one stolen from me yesterday in Be'er Sheba. We followed the vehicle. Close to the quarry – the only opening in the fence – there are reservists in the observation post – they claim that illegals almost don't infiltrate here anymore.
The reconstructed road was opened. There is almost no traffic. It is 05:30, Palestinian time. On our way back, close to Beit Hagai – an accident. A military vehicle rolled over and parking next to it there are many military vehicles – other than that, there is almost no traffic and no children are seen on the road. All pillboxes are manned and all blockages are in place. On the road, we've bought some vegetables – helping out the Palestinian economy and getting some wonderful zucchini and green beans at a bargain.
We've rubbed our eyes, is it possible to say of this road that it is no longer an apartheid road – lots of Palestinian vehicles: we haven't counted them. At the truck lane entry to Hebron– two tired soldiers rubbing their eyes and no traffic, perhaps due to Ramadan, perhaps the early hour. There are no grapes and figs yet – too early.
Work on the oil-press is in full force now – pillbox is manned, traffic flows.
Workers went quickly through -- it takes ten minutes, according to the drivers who stayed put. Two bus loads of prisoners' families' visits – in one of them, two children who wanted to visit their elder brother in prison, but were not allowed to pass because their mother forgot to give them her identity card. The bus driver takes them back to Bethlehem. Kiosk is shut – Ramadan. A few people arrive at the Laison & Coordination Administration (LCA) at the CP – and it is a pity that the LCA doesn't work at full capacity. It provides the same services as provided by the Hebron LCA – but for some reason, the Palestinians prefer going to Hebron and waiting long.
Golani Battalion 13 mans Hebron now. A minyan gathers at the "Hazon David" synagogue, down the patriarch's hill. Hebron's Palestinians are still asleep and Hebron seems even more deserted than usual. Golani soldiers added some CPs along the road, and there is a military jeep even before the patriarchs' cave is reached – soldiers guard the children of "the disputed house" who await their school bus.The new neighborhood – "Hebron Heroes" – is deserted, and sewage floods the entire area below Kiryat Arba. At every post and every CP – four soldiers and more, perhaps because of Ramadan, perhaps because of school year opening. But the feeling is that there are no Palestinians and still, the place is packed with soldiers.
Next to Kikar Gross: Soldiers stand on the cemetery's wall, guarding the Jewish quarter's children.
Down from the Kordoba School: Another CP.
Tel Rumeida CP: Whoever tries to pass through is being stopped.
Tarpat CP: Free passage.
Patriarch's Tomb Cave CPs: Empty. A blue police jeep awaits the Palestinian children – but they don't arrive because it is still terribly early – that's it.