Hebron, South Hebron Hills
Route 60 was relatively free of traffic. There is now a watchtower and a security gate at the main entrance to Abda. The secondary entrance to Abda is open raising the question as to why it was necessary to put a watchtower and gate at one entrance while leaving the other open.
The checkpoint being constructed at the entrance to the Kefisha neighborhood is almost completed. We were stopped by a Border Police jeep as we drove on the road to Giv’at Harsina. We were told that it was a closed military area and were forced to turn back. When we tried to get patrol to stop near the grocery store so we could get more information as to why it had become a closed military area, the jeep sped off. We continued on to the area of the Cave of Patriarchs where we had our second unpleasant encounter with the Border Police. We were told it was against the law to park on the street in front of the Cave of the Patriarchs even though we were in a van with Israeli plates. We countered that it wasn’t against the law. It was clear that the ‘law’ was invoked because Mohamed was driving. Not wanting to raise the temperature further, we drove on. At the Tel Rumeida mobile checkpoint , the soldiers allowed us to pass so that we could go up to the cemetery. There are now two more checkpoints on the road behind the cemetery: one preventing Palestinians from freely entering the Palestinian neighborhood around the cemetery and the second leading to the Tel Rumeida archeological site.
On our return, we drove to see the wall that is now being constructed near the Eshkolot settlement and which will eventually replace the remaining barb wire separating it from the surrounding Palestinian towns. In order to construction this section of the wall, land belong to families living the Palestinian towns of Adh-Dhahiriya, Dura and Ar-Ramadin was confiscated