Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Wed 22.4.09, Morning
06:50 The checking lane is empty. Everyone is already on the Israeli side.
Durah Alfawwar: open. Numerous cabs are waiting along the roads beside the CP. A military jeep is parked some 50 metres away from the CP. The two soldiers standing by it don't seem to take any interest in the people crossing.
Sheep's Junction: open.
At the entrance to Kiryat Arba, a military jeep with two soldiers is parked.
The House of Dispute: military jeep with four soldiers inside is parked there. the soldiers seem busy conversing amongest themselves.
Pharmacy CP: the CP's area is noticeably (and impressively) clean. Everyone crosses over very quickly.
Tarpat CP: two TIPH volunteers are observing.
Paratroopers have taken over from Giv'ati throughout Hebron. The soldiers walk about the town with their red berets on.
Tel Rumeida: we meet a soldier and an officer and inquire about the soldiers' head cover, following which we have a very relaxed and pleasant conversation with the two.
The officer explains that it is important for them to appear representative while positioned here, as they work with a civilian population (Israeli and Palestinian) and int'l aid agencies. They have been in Hebron for a month already, he says, and they inspect neither the very young (under 16s) nor the elderly at the CP. He adds that they have come to know the people who walk trhough and so, will not check them all either. He feels bound to explain the necessity of inspection to us and tells us that a few days ago knives and Molotov cocktails were found in a house in the vicinity. He stresses that he does not check children although only three months ago, when in Gaza, he's evidenced children carrying knives. Yael smilingly remarks that, in Hebron he'd better watch out for the settlers' children, rather than the Palestinian ones. But he says that the settlers are very kind to the soldiers - invited them for the holidays, fed them, etc. As to their children, he smilingly comments that they are "little criminals". He doesn't seem to have any real reservations with regard to their carrying on, but perhaps he has not yet encountered it at its worst. "Anyway", he wishes to put our minds at rest "our company commander grew up here, so he understands the way the adults and children here tick". We were not relieved, to say the least... in fact, quite the contrary.
Sussiya: a military jeep is parked along the road.
On our way back to Meitar, we see still more of them (IDF jeeps).