South Hebron Hills, Mon 15.12.08, Afternoon
We arrive around noon, starting from Tarquomiya, at 12.30pm. The Western entrance to Heborn is shut. The Olive pathway is open. Cars get in and out and generally, there are rather many cars on the roads and anyway, it all seems relatively quiet (the quiet following the storm? Hopefully, not anticipating another!).
The Humanitarian CP – the gate leading into Hebron is shut. No soldiers were seen.
We stopped at Shiyuch Hebron crossroad, where many young children were making their way home, back from school. Attempted conversation is rather unsuccessful, due to the lack of a common language, but there were mutual smiles. A group of men (workers?) made its way, by foot, from Shiyoch to Hebron. Responding to our question, they said that "all's OK."
Our driver objected to our entering Hebron today, so we made our way southwards, instead. The Southern entrance to the city is shut, as usual. Entrance to Bnei Naim is blocked, as usual. At the Zif junction, we met some women at the local greengrocer's, where we, too, made some shopping. The shop owner knows us already, and the conversation was facilitated through the good services of A, our driver, who translated for us.
The Zif junction is open, and we go back north from there. During our entire tour, we could see only a few soldiers from afar, spread out in several watching-posts.
We stop again at the small grocery next to Idna. The oil press is already closed, but olive oil can be obtained also there, and their Hebrew is good.