Hebron – a tour with Ilana Hammermann after the pogrom of Chayei Sarah

Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Muhammad, Mira, Yael (reporters), Ilana Hammerman (guest); Translator: Natanya
חברון - אילנה המרמן בשיחה עם בתו של אבו ענאן

Ilana Hammerman returned to Hebron after several years of not visiting it. She asked to join us in order to talk with the Palestinian residents, and get to know the current situation in the city.

By prior arrangement, we arrived at the house of Abu Anan, whose only sin is that his house is under Givat Haavot (the Hill of the Fathers), and he shares an access road with the residents of the hill. When the settlers go out through the gate in the barbed wire fence to the tent of the Chazon David synagogue (which was destroyed and rebuilt many times), they cross his pastures and olive trees, and on their way they chase away the sheep and chop down the trees. Since Itamar Ben Gvir, a resident of Givat Haavot, became a member of the Knesset, the situation has worsened.

When you go up to the roof of Abu Anan's house, you can clearly see the police station in Givat Haavot, and next to it Ben Gvir's house with the guards entrusted to him (photo attached). The police station overlooks the entrance to Hebron from Kiryat Arba (in front of the synagogue tent), from the top of the slope, and on the dirt path leading to the house and on to Givat Haavot.

On Friday, Parshat Chayei Sarah, there were 45 family members who live in the Abu Anan house, and more guests, and then stones started being thrown at the house. They called the police, but the officers arrived after the incident, and collected the material from the private security cameras on the house. We saw on the roof of the house the stones that had been thrown, and areas (perhaps solar collectors) smashed. The members of the house said that the surrounding trees were also damaged, and that the attack on the house continued for a long time. That evening, more cars and houses of residents were stoned.

On Saturday, the army came to the house, following a complaint - this time from the settlers - that stones were thrown from the house and hit a Jewish car parked below. The soldiers entered and left the house many times, without explaining or justifying what they were looking for. It is not clear to the members of the house what they were looking for.

We went to Tel Rumeida to hear about the second site of the riots that weekend.

Givati Brigade soldiers guard the intersection (the site of Elor Azaria's murder of an incapacitated Palestinian) and avoid talking to us.

In the grocery store located to the right of the intersection, we talked to the man in the wheelchair, the store clerk, who was photographed on Channel 11 news when the riots were reported. He also told us about stone throwing on both sides and soldiers who beat Palestinian children on the grounds that they had thrown stones.

Reminder: When the Jewish settlement in Tel Rumeida began in the early 1980s, the Tel Rumeida settlement included only the neighborhood called Yishai Lands, to the left of the intersection at the end of the road coming up from Shuhada Street. To the right of the intersection, the road winds up towards the old Jewish cemetery (where the Jews of the 1929 attack were buried, and which has now become a cemetery for the residents of the Jewish settlement in Hebron. Continuing up the hill, there were no barriers, and the traffic was mainly that of local Palestinian residents. Now, with the octagonal takeover method of the Hebron settlers, the cemetery has been renovated, a Chabad yeshiva was established up the road, and next to it a pillbox and a barrier with a formidable barbed wire fence.

The seller at the grocery store, who is confined to a wheelchair, says that although the chair is electric, in order to go up and down between his house and the store, the motor is not strong enough and he depends on an attendant to push the chair.

On the way up towards the cemetery we saw a group of travelers headed by a guide from the Hebron seminary -- the overall escort for Hebron tourism is now in the hands of the Hebron seminary (public seminary). They are going to hear an explanation about the cemeteries Further up the hill.

After the impressive view of Arab Hebron bustling with life, we reached the checkpoint after the pillbox. The soldiers didn't let us cross to the other side, claiming that it was area A -- doubtless true. Ilana, who speaks Arabic, talked with a group of local young women through the barbed wire fence -- unreal.

On the way back, two women who lived opposite each other on the same floor, told Ilana about the Shabbat events:

When the throwing of stones started, all the residents of the street gathered in their houses. The army came and took the young boys out into the street and beat them on the pretext that they were all throwing stones at Jews. One of the women insisted on showing Ilana her son who was hit by the beatings and needed treatment in the emergency room, and her daughter who received a stone in the face. This is the house that is located right below the caravans of the Jewish Tel Rumeida neighborhood, next to the center of activists which Issa Amro established in his home.

A unique collaboration between a Palestinian resident, Machsonwatch checkpoint volunteers and soldiers stationed at the Tel Rumeida intersection: one of the women with whom we spoke to holding a child with a ball in her arms. The boy threw the ball down the road to the neighborhood, we ran trying to stop the ball, and one of the soldiers stopped the ball and kicked it from below -- as is appropriate for these World Cup days. With the help of the soldier, the ball returned safely to the woman.

On the way down towards the Cave of the Patriarchs it is quiet. There are almost no vehicles. In the parking lot below the Cave of the Patriarchs we counted 5 buses of tourists who came to hear the story of Hebron, from the Jewish-settler-religious side.

Route 60

At the Dura-El Fawwar intersection, the vegetable stalls are back in operation and they look colorful and fresher than ever.

Near the barrier, a row of police cars patrol the Israeli side of the fence, repairing breaches or checking the electricity along its length.