I took a bus from Jerusalem to Hebron and got dropped off at the last stop, not that I knew what that meant. I then hailed a taxi for the Old City. And then I got dropped off and still didn’t know where to go from there, so I walked around the market for a bit and EVERYONE said “Welcome! Welcome!” They don’t have nearly enough consumers and they need them! I did my part, bought my favorite Casio watch in blue (for a steal, but fair for the seller) and got some mixed nuts, which this area is famous for. Before long, I was approached in a gentle way by a man named Ayman, who is a Palestinian activist and wanted to walk me around and explain the situation to me. I’m so glad we met.
Ayman, my Palestinian guide:
This was a Palestinian residence, but was destroyed in the Second Intifada in 2002:
Now we’re getting into “H1” and “H2,” the inhumane division. Feels like I imagine the East vs. the West Blocs in Germany, must have felt like. H1 is Palestinian and H2, which used to be a thriving residential and commercial Palestinian area, is now controlled by the Israeli Army and is called “Ghost Town” because no one is allowed to live there or have a shop there. The buildings are locked up and falling into decay. The street is silent, somber.
This building stands between H1 and H2:
Look to your left, people, movement, in H1. On the right, desolate, empty:
This is the checkpoint on the deserted street that used to be filled with lively Palestinian market life. It’s just a sad little trailer. And to think it keeps people who actually have homes and old businesses over there, out!
Once through the checkpoint, here are the images of desolation. Ayman could only walk with me to a certain point and then was not allowed to go any further. (I hope you understand the injustice in this. It’s his home, his country, his land, his birthplace, yet he is forbidden to enter):
The checkpoint from the Israeli side:
There are two sides:
26DEC13. Hebron, Palestinian Territory.