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, South Hebron Hills, Thu 2.10.08, 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
Although it is early prisoners' families are waiting for the buses to the prisons. They are quickly checked and allowed to pass. Among them we met a woman on a wheel chair who is taken by one of the workers in the CP and a small girl whose parents are both in prison.
2 new blockades were seen, one in Arabe, and down another village, preventing the drive from the villages to the main road.
Due to the holiday the roads are empty, schools are closed. Pharmacy CP is deserted,. 2 soldiers and a Boarder Policeman are watching the empty Tel Rumaida CP.
We were told a funny story about those days in Hebron: Israeli soldiers found a group of Palestinian soldiers walking in the city. The Israeli soldiers, assuming they found terrorists, took them to their post. A quarrel was started between the two groups and only the DCO people succeeded to end the event.