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Troubled Hebron

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The empty streets in the market with nets hanging over the streets

After the 1995 Oslo accord, borders were set between Israel and Palestine, where the city of Hebron was divided into a tiny part for the Israelis (about 700 settlers) and Palestinians (over 200 000). The Israeli part contains the site “The cave of the Patriarchs” where historical people like Abraham, Isaac and Sara are resting, holy for all Jews, Christians and Muslims, where Palestinians are allowed to visit half of the part and the Jewish the other half.
I went there yesterday and started off by taking an armored bus going directly from Jerusalem into the Israeli settlements. I could then freely, with my passport walk over to the Palestinian side to look around. When I came across there was a sad atmosphere and few people in the market. Above the streets were the houses of Israeli soldiers and a net in between making sure that no-one could throw rocks up at them. It also worked as a place where the Israelis could throw garbage, and the net was full of it. People below, me included felt like rats in the sewer, where people above intentionally wanted to drive us out.
When walking around I also met some Norwegians working with escorting Palestinian children to school, as they would almost daily be harassed by the soldiers and the settlers. It was tough to see how tired the Palestinians living on the border were. Hearing the people’s stories also drained me from energy and a day spent there talking to people was enough. After that I really wanted to get back to Tel Aviv where these things seemed so far away.

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The tombs of Abraham, Sara, Ismael and Isaac inside the Cave of the Patriarchs