| ||Israeli soldiers monitor Friday Ramadan Prayers|
The streets of Hebron were unusually quiet on the 26th night of Ramadan. These are the final days of holiest time of the year in Islam. As we stood at the entrance to the Ibrahimi Mosque we noticed that the numbers of worshippers were significantly down from a year ago. A year ago we also saw more venders selling falafels, pastries, corn, tea, coffee, juice, ice cream and kabobs. A year ago so many people flowed through the streets of Hebron’s Old City to attend the Mosque services or to shop, that walking was difficult.
This year, perhaps out of fear, people were at home watching the news on TV. (We heard that in Jerusalem there are fewer numbers also on the streets of and worshipping in the mosques this month.) At Bab iZawya on this night, we found a small crowd of young and middle aged men who had showed up even though no demonstration had been called for that scheduled. At 2:00 a.m., they were still standing around, looking as though they were waiting for something to happen. Every now and then, a boy threw a stone and ducked for cover.