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Text testimonies They walk on the side of the road
catalog number: 174095
Rank: First Sergeant
Area: Hebron
period: 2012
21  views    0  comments
They walk on the side of the road
Rank: First Sergeant
Area: Hebron
period: 2012

We go up [to Hebron] for missions, driving in an Armored Combination Bus to Worshippers’ route, and my sergeant drops me off there and says: see you at the end of the shift.

What was your mission? My mission was to secure the worshippers walking from Kiryat Arba to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the specific order was that Jews walk on the road, the worshippers walk on the road, and the Palestinians aren’t supposed to appear on the route. If they do appear – you ask them to go down to the shoulders. There’s this very messed up situation in Hebron, endless friction, an encounter, sharing the street, making sure there are as few encounters as possible.

The neighborhood you’re in - is it a Palestinian neighborhood? Palestinian.

Do settlers live there or just cross the neighborhood? If I’m not mistaken, the settlers, the closest place they live in is Avraham Avinu that's what I recall. The closest settlement is Avraham Avinu.

How does that work? We’re talking about a Palestinian neighborhood, and Palestinians aren't allowed to walk on the road that crosses the neighborhood? How are they supposed to get around the neighborhood? Even when they’re walking on the route, they walk on the side of the road. It’s the kind of memory that was etched into my mind because there weren’t that many Palestinians walking around there. Until an elderly Palestinian woman showed up there, that was a very serious issue.

Why? There was this elderly woman walking on the road, and I said: come on, I’m not going to tell this old woman to walk on the side of the road, she’ll walk on the road. Enough. A young man came over, a settler on his way to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and began shouting at me: you’re not doing your job, you’ve gone crazy, she’s an Arab, she’s walking on the road along with the worshippers, shout at her, get her to the side, if I were you I would… And I’m: calm down, calm down, I’m doing my job, go pray at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, have a good Sabbath, leave me alone, go. He left and she continued walking on the road but I remember that it simply reminded me of the holocaust, like Jews walking in the ditch next to the sidewalk. And I didn’t understand how he doesn’t get it, I couldn't figure out … I said to him: listen, she could be your grandmother or mine, an old lady, she can hardly walk.

And what did he say? He said: there’s an arrangement, they’re not allowed to walk on the road and we’re allowed to during these hours when there’s reinforcement, the hours of prayer. We’re on the road and they don’t walk here, or they walk on the side of the road, something like that.