Hebron - One shift, two tales

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Hagit, Muhammad.Translator: Charles K.

First tale – Dura-Al Fawwar junction on Highway 60. 

The entrance to Dura from Highway 60 has been closed for a week.  The gate is locked because, recently, every afternoon youths from Dura have been throwing rocks and burning tires.  The army decided to impose collective punishment.  We see again that people unable to go through in a vehicle transferred the goods by hand to a vehicle on the other side of the barrier - the back-to-back we’ve seen before.  Those who must enter Dura must make a long detour on foot along a trail via Homsa.

On our way back we see soldiers stationed at all the concrete barriers.  There are no vehicles and no youths.

The Palestinian youths we spoke with sound proud.  They’re fighting for independence…an older man present smiled sadly but remained silent.

Second tale:  Palestinians lick their wounds after Saturday’s “Hayye Sara” torah portion.

“Hayye Sara” tells of the patriarch Abraham’s purchase of Me’arat Hamachpela (the Cave of the Patriarchs).  Religious Jews are accustomed to make a pilgrimage to Hebron in commemoration.  The arrangements with the Moslem Waqf in connection with this period are known as “the Jewish exception.”  In other words, only Jews are permitted to worship at the site.  Prior to the weekend, the settlers in Hebron are very busy preparing housing for those who’ll arrive, and large tents to welcome the attendees.  That weekend 45,000 religious Jews came to Hebron.

The army designates the H2 sector as a closed military area, accessible only to residents.  A curfew is imposed on Palestinian residents of the sector; they are forbidden to leave their homes except in an emergency.

The army increases its presence.  The soldiers attempt to interpose themselves physically between the settlers and the Palestinians.

Here’s what happened that weekend:

Two women from the Ja’abari neighborhood were injured by settlers throwing rocks.

Three bicycles were stolen from Palestinians.

Rocks were thrown on the “Tzion Axis”

Palestinians submitted seven complaints to the police.

The army deleted what cameras had recorded.

The camerainfo-icon tapes are preserved only if there’s an attack by Palestinians.  Attacks by settlers are ignored, and the tapes are erased after 24 hours.  That’s why the police don’t know who carried out the thefts  (That’s what I learned after an unsuccessful attempt to help).  One of the veterans of the Hebron Jewish settlement said that among the many arrivals are people who aren’t part of their community and behave violently…He apologized to me…

Hebron is very dirty today; big companies are dismantling the installations.

Otherwise, construction of the new Jewish neighborhood continues.  The visitor center is also being renovated or a second story is being added.

In brief – the occupation is thriving. 

The three photos above provide a taste of the atmosphere during “Hayye Sara.”