Monday was my third day in Hebron, and, unlike the first two days, things for us were a lot less chaotic.
Our apartment is located in a neighbourhood called Tel Rumeida, which is between Palestinians and the settlers. From our window, we can see a lot.
Clashes were raging all day today between Palestinian shebab and the Israeli Army. We can hear shots being fired (whether they are rubber coated steel bullets or live rounds, I don't know), and the explosions of sound bombs. We can also hear yells and cries from the crowds that are confronting the army. Today, on the balcony, I saw thick black clouds of smoke rise into the air.
Around the afternoon, some settler children, aged maybe around 9 years old, came into the yard of a Palestinian house, and fought with Palestinian kids. I saw a Palestinian boy being kneed in the stomach by a young settler boy. There was an Israeli soldier present, as this happened right near his checkpoint. To his credit, he pulled the settler boys away, and told them to leave. The Israeli soldiers currently based in Hebron are very new, and many quite young. Some ISMers think they may be reservists, and the soldiers usually at Hebron are elsewhere, very possibly in Gaza.
The new soldiers are not angels... I remember how some of them reacted after the settler attack, and they are also the ones who used live ammunition against the Palestinian shabab last night. However, to be fair, it must be recognized that some of them do treat Palestinians I see interacting with them with respect and courtesy. Their job in Hebron is to enforce a military occupation of its Palestinian people and to protect Israeli settlers, who are there illegally, and who get away with committing abuses against their Palestinian neighbours.
My fellow activists and I went for a patrol. We talked to some Palestinian kids, and came across some settlers and soldiers. Two soldiers held us up for a few minutes, demanding to see our passports. It is nothing unlike the last time I was here, in 2010. They held us for a few minutes, and let us go.
Pictures will be later put on the blog.