Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Mon 2.1.12, Morning
According to Wye Plantation Accords (1997), Hebron is divided in two: H1 is under Palestinian Authority control, H2 is under Israeli control. In Hebron there are 170,000 Palestinian citizens, 60,000 of them in H2. Between the two areas are permanent checkpoints, manned at all hours, preventing Palestinian movement between them and controlling passage of permit holders such as teachers and schoolchildren. Some 800 Jews live in Avraham Avinu Quarter and Tel Rumeida, on Givat HaAvot and in the wholesale market.
Checkpoints observed in H2:
- Bet Hameriva CP- manned with a pillbox
- Kapisha quarter CP (the northern side of Zion axis) - manned with a pillbox
- The 160 turn CP (the southern side of Zion axis) - manned with a pillbox
- Avraham Avinu quarter - watch station
- The pharmacy CP - checking inside a caravan with a magnometer
- Tarpat (1929) CP - checking inside a caravan with a magnometer
- Tel Rumeida CP - guarding station
- Beit Hadassah CP - guarding station
Three checkpoints around the Tomb of the Patriarchs
Translator: Charles K.
Many laborers arrived despite the rain and fog. They’re waiting on the Israeli side of the crossing for their employers to pick them up
Nothing out of the ordinary along the road. The weather affects everyone.
The security guard at the entrance to Kiryat Arba again asks who we are, and we again must remind him that we’re all citizens with equal rights [that’s what’s written, at least] and that it’s unacceptable to demand an ID only from someone who doesn’t look Jewish. Again he explains that he has the authority and instructions from the police to ask for IDs. Again he calls “big brother;” what a quixotic battle in one of the bastions of Israeli racism. We’ll continue; even stones are worn away by water.
Golani soldiers in the town since last Thursday. Their signs stand out at the base at the entrance to town.
Rain, fog and bone-chilling cold.
Hagit and Shachar again walk along the new apartheid path which is marked similarly to those of the Nature Protection Society, indicating the shortcut for residents of Tel Rumeida, beginning at the stairs up to the Cordova school/
I remain with our driver because of what has happened in the past; it’s not a good idea to leave him alone here.
They, of course, run into a soldier who reminds them that this path is restricted to the Jewish residents of Tel Rumeida. And, of course…a bottle is thrown at them from one of the trailers.
That’s how it ends this time. Otherwise, nothing special occurred.
Next to one of the houses along the road down from Tel Rumeida to the Tarpa”t checkpoint we met a man who lives there. He’s a physician working in town, in the H1 area.
“Everything is ok,” he says. “It’s hard, of course, that I can’t drive my car from home to the hospital,” but everything is ok.
Everything is deserted and closed down, even – by and large - around the Cave of the Patriarchs. There are always Jewish visitors coming in groups, despite the weather.
We drove home via the Tarqumiya crossing.
Quiet and deserted. The soldiers came down from the pillbox next to the grocery but haven’t detained anyone.
At Tarqumiya they’re as “nice” as ever. Again the questions – who are we, where did we come from. Again asking to see only M’s ID. We insist they check ours also. Again they send us to the inspection area on our right. They open and inspect the car. Again they ask for our IDs. The inspector smiles apologetically. “Orders.” “Can’t she exercise any discretion?” we ask. Can’t you see we’re not security risks? A shrug. “Do you also ask residents of Telem and Adura for IDs?”
“Yes,” she replies grudgingly. Why don’t we believe her?