Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Mon 19.12.11, Morning

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Hagit B., Michal T., (Reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

Translator:  Charles K.

In the midst of the disturbing silence we again examined the path between the apartheid stairs to the Cordova School to the neighborhood of the Tel Rumeida settlers, where a sign is posted restricting its use to Jews.

The soldiers are quiet today.

Suddenly a settler appears, coming down the road.  He pastes a poster on the decorated concrete wall which attempts to hide Hebron, the lively city at the foot of the hill. The poster recounts the injustice committed by the government against the settlers by limiting the Jewish settlement in the Hebron, compared to the excessive rights granted to the Palestinians. The soldier watching him talks on the phone about what the settler is doing.  In response to my question, the soldier says he’s obligated to report any such activity no matter who does it, and he’s checking to see whether the man is entitled to paste up the poster.  We learned something.

The unfortunate Cossack pastes up a second poster, this time on Shuhada Street, not far from Gross Square.  It explains why the adjoining shop had been closed.  We kept our eye on this energetic man.  He’d already reached the Cave of the Patriarchs and was preparing to paste up another poster containing the settlers’ pearls of wisdom.  To our surprise, Border Police soldiers prohibit him from doing so.  The order “came down,” arriving after he’d pasted the two previous posters.

We met Yehuda Shaul, from “Breaking the Silence,” who had come to show some VIP around.  We suggested he go look at the new posters.

The poor settlers have to convince people that their actions are justified.  They seem to feel they’re now really under attack.

A cup of tea with ‘Abed revives us somewhat and we leave this city.

We returned via Highway 317 and reached the Metzudat Yehuda checkpoint.  Merchandise crosses here, a few Jews and some Palestinian families living near Beit Yatir.  We waited in vain for the pupils.  Today, as it happened, they finish very late, and we can’t wait.  But once again we were exposed to the settlers’ behavior:  “Who are you?  What are you doing here?,” asks a settler passing by who stops next to us.  “Why should we answer you?”  “I wanted to invite you for coffee.”  How nice; really, really sweet!  He waves goodbye and drives on.  Who among us would dare ask a passer-by at the entrance to our town what he’s up to?!  The lords of the land are convinced it’s their right and their duty.

Meanwhile, cars go by.  The Jews are stopped, greeted and then drive on.

A Palestinian family arrives; since it’s one of the few permitted to cross into Israel, they’re certainly known to the soldiers.  They’re asked for ID cards, and their vehicle is inspected.