Hebron: An Average Day in the Graveyard of Innocence
Foster, Charles, Contemporary Review
Editor's Note: Charles Foster is a freelance writer with experience in a number of theatres of war including South Lebanon, Bosnia and the West Bank. In December 2000 he went back to Hebron, one of the most volatile towns in the West Bank.
IT is difficult to get to Hebron these days. I started outside Jerusalem's Damascus Gate, and asked the drivers of the communal taxis for Bethlehem, which is the first stop. Even doing that made me a curiosity. The road was officially closed: there had been fighting by Rachel's Tomb, and there were official and unofficial road blocks. So we meandered across country; along dirt tracks; through olive groves; up and down improbable hills. And although there was not really much traffic going between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, progress was so slow that we were soon part of a long, bored convoy of road block evaders, watched by bored Palestinian police (fat, dressed in green, with guns) and bored Israeli soldiers (lean, dressed in green, with guns).
Then we spilt out onto the metalled road in Bethlehem, and I wandered past the ranks of closed shops. The place was desolate and destitute. There were no rich pilgrims from tour buses to buy olive wood camels and holy water. Down in the valley, at Beit Sahour, a child pretended to drive a wrecked car. On 9 November 2000, missiles fired from an Israeli helicopter at that car had decapitated Hussein Abayat, one of Arafat's henchmen. The Palestinians have …
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Publication information: Article title: Hebron: An Average Day in the Graveyard of Innocence. Contributors: Foster, Charles - Author. Magazine title: Contemporary Review. Volume: 278. Issue: 1622 Publication date: March 2001. Page number: 129. © 1999 Contemporary Review Company Ltd. COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group.
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