This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Hebron. To help you make friends with Hebron before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Hebron, Palestine, is a destination for the adventurous traveler. Hebron, or Khalil in Arabic, is as close as you can safely get to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Hebron is a divided city in the West Bank. While the majority of the city is controlled by the Palestinians, Israeli settlers have taken control over some areas. Nowadays there are about two hundred Israeli settlers, protected by two thousand Israeli soldiers. Shuhada Street, once the bustling heart of Hebron, has transformed into a ghost town. You can find many checkpoints throughout town that are controlled by Israeli soldiers. While Jews and Arabs can not cross certain check points into each others' "territory," you will be fine as a tourist. Your bag may be checked quickly, and incidentally you may be asked to show your passport, but do not expect any trouble if you do not look Jewish or Arabic.
Although there are a few sites to see -- such as tombs, churches, and mosques -- the main reason to visit Hebron is to get a better understanding about the conflict and the current situation in Hebron. Despite the separation, the people are welcoming to outsiders. Both the Arabs and the Jews will be happy to tell you their side of the story, show you their circumstances and tell you why the other side is wrong. Do not be afraid to ask people. Even soldiers are willing to answer, but be careful with showing your own political opinion to either side. There are also several companies offering tours around Hebron, which will help you a lot to understand the conflict better, as it is nearly impossible if you visit by yourself.
Your hostel in Hebron, Palestine, can also help you to book a tour. Since distances are short in Palestine, you might as well consider to book a hostel in Bethlehem or Jerusalem and go on a day trip to Hebron. Both cities are less than an hour away. Some of the hostels in Jerusalem and Bethlehem can help you to book a tour to Hebron. One of the hostels in Bethlehem frequently organizes its own tours to Hebron.
Written by local enthusiast for Hebron hostelsMartin Straatman