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Living Through the Tragedy of Hebron’s Old City

March 26, 2016

“Shabbat Shalom!” He kindly greeted the stranger on the Sabbath. The response: “Leh Lehizdayen!” (Hebrew for f**k you). This is a typical interaction between Khalil* and one of the neighboring settlers. Owning a shop in the Old City of Hebron within the Israeli controlled H2 precinct has its peculiar challenges. With 500 settlers living in four settlements next to at least 30,000 Palestinians, H2 remains a focal point for Israeli-Palestinian tensions. Home to a magnificent Herodian structure called the Haram Al-Ibrahimi (also known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs), the area holds immense religious value to Muslims and Jews alike. It is no surprise that Hebron has a reputation for being a troubled city. Determined to enhance my understanding of the perpetual Israeli-Palestinian conflict as well as to satisfy my zealous infatuation with Middle Eastern affairs, I embarked on my first trip to the region, destination: Hebron. Entering the Palestinian Authority-controlled H1 area of Hebron was an experience in itself. Driving along Central Hebron’s Ein-Sarah Street one sees a lively city: Frantic drivers trying to navigate amidst busy traffic, bustling stores and markets with merchants screaming prices to entice passers-by and…

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