For the last 18 months, the Israeli army has been prohibiting the entry of Palestinians who are not among the 1,200 residents of the Palestinian Tel Rumeida neighborhood in the western part of Old Hebron.
Twenty years have passed since the signing of the Wye River Accord, according to which 80 percent of Hebron was transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has counted 18 checkpoints manned by soldiers; 14 checkpoints that are intermittently manned; and 70 permanent blockades, such as concrete walls, blocks and locked gates, which cut off the old center from the rest of the city.
Two notices posted in Tel Rumeida at the end of March informed residents that the army was going to set up two more checkpoints for magnetometric identification, as well as revolving gates, cameras and separation chambers between soldiers and the passersby they check.
For Palestinian residents, a barrier manned by armed soldiers who separate their house from a grocery or health clinic is not an improvement but a humiliation and further burden.
There are some Palestinian social activists who have organized under a banner called "Dismantle the Hebron Ghetto." They have set up a kindergarten in an abandoned house; they've set up a prize-winning competition among the worshippers at the mosque, to encourage more people to come and pray there.
The leavened goods that piled up outside the houses of the settlers before Passover were removed by trucks from the Palestinian municipality.
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