The large majority were observant Heredi people in the Machpelech side. I don’t know that I saw any secular folks. Maybe one European Christian group. I was asked by two different guards “Jewish or Christian“? I’m not sure what difference it would have made, but I was waved through when I when they heard Christian.
The Ibrahimi mosque is beautiful. I did not know there had been a church on that site. But it makes sense if the site was identified by St. Helena.
Around the holy site, similar to last time, empty roads and empty shops. Big signs in Hebrew both on the “Arab“ side and on the Jewish side.
There are very aggressive salespeople in the few shops that are open just before the Ibrahimi mosque. Almost begging- telling how they are forced to be closed most of the time and that they support a lot of people.
On one of my walks one of the guards asked me where I was from and I said New York and he was from Cleveland. I should have talked with him more; but the afternoon was wearing on so…