I have Monday and Tuesday off and headed to Bethlehem again. I wanted to see Aida Refugee Camp since I did not have the opportunity to go into the camp before. There is a wall as you enter the camp with names of children who have been killed. I walked down some of the streets. A few boys walked along. One had been shot in the head and appeared to have had stitches. I am not sure if it was with a rubber bullet or not. Later, a little girl took my hand and wanted me to come into her house. Her mother was very welcoming and insisted I eat and have tea. However the language barrier made conversation a bit of a challenge. I am amazed though by people’s hospitality. It started to rain and she also gave me a hat.
Walking back, I saw an interesting building and peering around the corner, a young man motioned for me to come in the out of the rain. The building is a factory. It once employed 50 men and shipped product (bedding supplies) to markets in Jordan and Lebanon. Now it is enclosed on two sides by the wall and they can only send products to the West Bank. Now 5 men work there. I hear that more and more.
Today (Tuesday) I had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before walking to the area where I could catch a mini-bus to Hebron. I met up with my teammates and toured Hebron. Lots of soldiers. There is an Israeli settlement in Hebron. Parts of the city is closed to Palestinians – there is a Palestinian section and Israeli section. There are barriers, checkpoints and road closures. This is the city that Israeli Hanna Barag of Machsom Watch calls hell.
Then a supper before going to Yatta.