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, Susiya, Mon 6.8.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
09:00 – 12:00
It’s quiet and empty. Those two words characterize the entire day.
One bus for relatives of prisoners is parked there.
Southern Hebron Hills, Highway 60
We drove on Highway 317. We wanted to see the illegal outpost, Mitzpeh Asha’el – nothing seemed to have changed.
A new neighborhood under construction in Susya. There’s momentum, development, in contrast to what is being done to the nearby Palestinians. The difference cries out to the heavens.
The road is almost empty. Ramadan can be felt everywhere.
Bani Na’im – We drove in to see whether last week’s operation to remove the water lines is continuing. It’s quiet, nothing unusual occurring.
Quiet. Many shops (of those few normally open) are closed today.
A large civilian vehicle is parked on the section of the Worshippers’ route leading down to the Cave of the Patriarchs. People emerge and, guarded by IDF soldiers, look at the abandoned buildings. We also stop, try to figure out who they are. We can only guess.
In the winding alley, where only Palestinians live (as of now), about 100 meters from the Jewish side of the Cave of the Patriarchs, two settler children, aged 9-12, sit doing nothing.
Their presence there is strange. We inform the Border Police soldiers in the booth at the entrance and they, given their response (they describe exactly what the children look like), know whom we’re talking about. Although the soldiers can’t see them from where they’re located, they respond matter-of-factly and promise to investigate and report to the appropriate party. It seems the children are familiar brats.
The Cave of the Patriarchs area is quiet. A group of Japanese tourists walk with a guide. A squad of soldiers rests on the lawn.
The settlers’ protest site opposite Beit HaMachpela is deserted.
The checkpoints are quiet. Another army patrol winds along Shuhada Street.
A soldier rummages through a woman’s handbag.
Up the road to Tel Rumeida, and at the turn to the “Tarpa”t Martyrs” cemetery, are more soldiers than usual. The mystery is solved when we’re stopped and asked not to go through.
“Why?!” we ask.
“There’s a tour,” they reply.
We wait. Suddenly a caravan passes, eight buses loaded with yeshiva students. “Summer Camp” says the sign on the bus.
Those “dying under the Torah’s burden” have arrived to spend time in the holy city of Hebron, well protected by jeeps in front and in the rear, and soldiers who block all the roads.
And all done quietly.