The remaining sections of the market are walled off from the rest of what used to be busy market streets, and are now referred to as the Ghost Town.
Some Palestinians still live in the Ghost Town, although there are many streets where Palestinians are not allowed to walk, and many more where they are not allowed to drive. To get to the Ghost Town, you have to go through one of the checkpoints, like this one.
At this checkpoint to get from the remains of the existing market into the ghost town, we are asked if anyone was Muslim.
Even once through, soldiers again asked whether anyone was Muslim in case they tried to turn left towards the synagogue, which is part of the same building as the Mosque.
No Palestinians of any religion are allowed to stray far beyond the checkpoint and into the ghost town. I was not at all comfortable going into segregated areas where our guides could not go.
There are a couple of shopkeepers who have refused to move. One of them is “crazy Abed” who refused a large sum to move out. The far-right politician Baruch Marzel and some settlers used a video of themselves attacking these shops as part of an election campaign.
He is on the far right, even for Israel, but I can’t imagine even the BNP thinking that a video of beating up shopkeepers would be effective in an election campaign.
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