Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Mon 30.3.09, Morning
At Tarqumiya we are pleased to meet and talk with our new driver M'. Lots of lorries wait to cross.
On the way to Hebron on Highway 35 there's heavier traffic than usual. The first entrance on the west and the one leading to the glass factory are closed.
The humanitarian CP is closed and a military jeep parks by the pillbox.
At Shuyuch Hebron crossing is on foot as usual. There are many cars on both sides of the CP.
Above the Disputed House in Hebron there's a bulldozer and a BP jeep.
We stopped at Bassam's grocery on the Tzion road (the road the IDF said would be opened to Palestinian traffic but is in fact an apartheid road). He welcomed us with coffee and bid us seat and showed us a letter, written in Arabic, to do with a licence for which he could apply for one car to be allowed to drive right up to the shop. His family, however, could not drive up to the shop and Bassam refused to apply in protest of the restrictions entailed (if we understood him correctly, with the help of our driver).
A military bulldozer is digging across from the Prayers' Route - Giborei Hebron (the heroes of Hebron) neighbourhood. The children tell us happily that the route is being opened "for them", and sure enough we saw on our way back that a roadblock had been removed.
Only a military jeep is to be seen by the closed Pharmacy CP, no people or soldiers.
Soldiers are inspecting those crossing the Tarpat CP.
On the wall leading to Tel Rumeida there is graffiti of Stars of David. Two Giv'ati soldiers man the CP to be replaced by the parachutists tomorrow. They say everything is all right and their inspection is sporadic. We didn't actually see anyone being checked. We met Hashem, the Hebron educated physiotherapist, who told us that he attempted to meet with his neighbour Baruch Marzel but made no headway. He invites us warmly to visit and gave us the number of his mobile phone.
Hassidic music in full blast pours from the roof of the Gotenic Centre by the Cave of the Patriarchs. Our acquaintance from days gone by, the shopkeeper from across the road tells us the whole neighbourhood suffers from it from morning till night. They have lodged complaints with the police but to no avail. He was cross and threatened that they would put up their own enormous loudspeakers and play their music in full volume. We asked policemen who came by and they said there's nothing to do. Hagit B' made another attempt through the unit spokeswoman who confirmed that the volume has been found to exceed the permitted limit. Hagit left it with her.
By the petrol station on Highway 35 we saw that the internal road beneath the bridge is open.