Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Mon 24.11.08, Afternoon
Western entrance to Hebron suburbs: Gate is locked, a Pelephone technician (Israeli cellular phone company) awaits the keys together with a group of reserve paratroopers.
Second entrance – past the Olive Gate bridge -- is open, private cars moving through.
Humanitarian CP – shut.
Few cars. Shiuyukh Hebron – several passers-by.
Many children walking back from school. In the vicinity of the Patriarchs' Tomb Cave it is quiet, and so too, at the Pharmacy CP – a few soldiers and several children.
Everywhere, signs announcing the march scheduled for tomorrow – Tuesday – from Jerusalem and the Masmiyeh junction (down south) to Hebron – to support and strengthen the "Peace House" (as the "Disputed House" is referred to by sympathizers).
Shuhaida St., the hill going up to Tel Rumeida – many children walking back from school.
Tel Rumeida CP: open, two Give'ati soldiers check for the n-th time whoever walks past, one of them tries to persuade us how good it is that the settlers live in Hebron….
The place is practically covered with military vehicles – jeeps, command-cars, some police cars too – everyone is apparently preparing for the pull-out/evacuation of the Disputed House.
Downhill, we stop at Basm's store/shoe factory, where he proudly shows us photos he's taken: five cars have had their wheels punctured tonight. He dispatches these photos to 'Betzelem'. Some Israeli flags are still proudly flying on top of the Disputed House.
We climb the stairs up to the Disputed House: there are many soldiers and policemen, as well as military vehicles (especially border-control). Outside the house, there are many settlers, hanging signs, extremely active. All of a sudden, a policeman announces that we're not allowed there by force of a "closed military zone" (never presented to us).
Next to the mosque – the cemetery. A Magen David is drawn in black on one of the tombstones, while the mosque's walls are white-washed – testifying to the erased graffitiof the settlers. And still more signs: "Marching to Hebron", "Emergency convention for the House of Peace."