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, Mon 23.4.12, 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.
The same oppressive routine everywhere.
By 7:30 AM all the laborers have gone through the Meitar crossing, and are waiting for their employers.
Deserted, almost no traffic of any kind. Nor are there any flying checkpoints, and we see almost no military personnel.
Posters all along the road: Celebrate Independence Day at Mitzpe Avichai…[which, meanwhile, has been demolished and is deserted].
Beit HaMachpela, like Beit HaMeriva, is manned by bored soldiers and surrounded by checkpoints. Next to it, a settler and her children watch from a protest tent, like in a surrealistic play because half the building is still inhabited by Palestinians. One person comes out, goes back in, shines shoes at the entrance, and in general behaves as he would on an ordinary morning.
He’s behind the checkpoints also, he’s also protected by the IDF. Were an alien to appear he’d have no reason to think this wasn’t normal. Maybe it is? We decided to try to find the building at Tel Rumeida which according to reports was purchased fraudulently.
We detoured via “Michael’s house,” quietly, slightly weak-kneed, who knows who’ll try to stop us or how. Two buildings seem to be possibilities, cameras everywhere, soldiers on guard, silence, abandoned bicycles, laundry hung to dry. Tel Rumeida is frightening. Fortunately no one saw us, or threw anything at us, or cursed. Even the soldier [from Elkana, he told us, after asking where Omer is] smiled and didn’t attack us.
It’s been a long time since I was so glad to leave Tel Rumeida.
The rest of the checkpoints are quiet; no one is being detained. There’s nothing unusual happening at the Cave of the Patriarchs.
Nor there anything unusual about how nauseous the town always makes us feel.