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, Mon 14.5.12, Morning
There are several checkpoints in the southern Hebron hills, on Routes 317 and 60. In most of them no military presence is apparent. These are Zif Junction, Dura-alFawwar crossing and the Sheep Junction at the southern entrance to Hebron.
Translator: Charles K.
Meitar crossing – empty at this hour. One bus with relatives of prisoners is waiting. They cross.
It’s quiet all along Highway 60 and Highway 317. The varied fields of grain fill our view.
The ripening oats are tall and lovely. People everywhere are reaping by hand with sickles as they did in the past. It’s not at all romantic – it’s hard work.
But most fellaheen can’t afford modern equipment, although they’re now allowed to drive on the road.
Only in one field, not far from the fence at the slopes of the Teneh Omarim settlement, was I glad to see a combine and piles of straw separate from the heaps of grain.
Wheat is still half-green and isn’t yet being harvested. If only we could “flee” a little to this pastoral atmosphere – which isn’t really pastoral – but it’s impossible, because we now reach a-Tawwani.
We learned that once again, for the thousandth time, settlers from Havvat Ma’on came down to their neighbors’ olive groves and simply broke the limbs of 20 trees.
We came to see. The area is very far away and not easily accessible to us, so we looked from afar. We spoke to a family member who’s also busy harvesting.
He told us that the police and also the army had been there.
So what?! It’s clear who the vandals are, so what?! No one will be caught, no one will be punished.
The fellah said they could do the same thing to the settlers, but that’s not how they want to behave. Umm Jum’ah said she knows the army is on the side of the settlers and nothing will help.
We know it also. So, other than getting mad, being ashamed and telling them how sorry we are – we can’t do a thing.
So we repeat our eyewitness testimony again and again, and record it so it reaches everyone who wants to know, and also those who aren’t fully aware of the occupation and its injustices.
The authorities have to know we’re still here, seeing and reporting. Perhaps someone hasn’t completely forgotten the word shame. Justice, morality, human rights – they’ve long been erased from our “Zionist” lexicon.
What luck – nothing out of the ordinary occurred. Everything’s the same.
The city continues to be a magnet: tourist buses with youths from Gush Etzion, coming to the Cave of the Patriarchs. More guests getting off a bus on Shuhada Street, next to Beit Hadassah.
Their t-shirts identify them as students in some pre-army preparatory course. They’ve come to hear the “story.”
I hope that they, at least, will have a chance to hear the non-Jewish residents of the city.