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, South Hebron Hills, Wed 2.5.12, 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.
There’s no problem entering; let’s hope the same is true coming back…
– few vehicles (the vineyards are blooming, lovely, well-tended, clean – a pleasure to see).
– more traffic than on Route 35, mostly Israeli vehicles.
Giv’at Avichai is still empty, only rubble remaining.
A new guard in the booth at the entrance to Kiryat Arba who doesn’t know we exist and detains us on the side of the road, it takes time, and as Raya gets out of the car he receives authorization by phone and releases us.
The booth at the entrance to the worshippers route is empty, but opposite, on the roof, three soldiers and camouflage netting.
Curve 160: Calm soldiers, quiet all around at the moment.
There’s a protest tent opposite “Beit HaMachpela” which is blocked by a barrier manned by the Border Police, and signs: “We bought it, we paid for it, it’s ours!”
Tarpat checkpoint: 6-7 youths detained, as well as some men and women. Two Kfir brigade soldiers inspecting IDs are talking to someone over the walkie-talkie.
An elderly man approaches to quietly tell us that these two soldiers stop people every day, detain them and cause difficulties.
But, at the same time, some go through without being delayed. The soldier explains: inspections are random.
Meanwhile, 12-13 people are already waiting.
Those arriving from the other direction go through the scanner as usual.
Question: Why is it necessary to detain and check people entering Palestinian Hebron??
Ten minutes later they receive authorization and release everyone.
A large sign at Tel Rumeida announcing that Jews may build on only 3% of Hebron’s area, compare to 97% for Palestinians! (What a terrible injustice!)
A tour guide from Bethlehem sits in ‘Abed’s shop (he speaks English, Spanish and Italian), recounting his troubles: Israeli tour guides work on the West Bank and in Jerusalem, taking work from local tour guides, who want to take tourists coming from Jordan to Israel as well (we suggested he try to get in touch with someone, an attorney or someone like that, perhaps through Hagit Beck).
Muhammad, at the Tarqumiya grocery, who’s active in the Israelis and Arabs Bereaved Families Forum, tells us to search Google for סדק בקיר [crack in the wall]. We haven’t yet done so.
There was a relatively nice guy at the Tarqumiya crossing who detained us nevertheless, but not very long.