Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Thu 30.4.09, Morning
06:40: The Palestinians are already sitted on the Israeli side, waiting for their shuttles. The checking lane is empty. Trucks on both sides of the border.
Normally, I sit at the front of the van, but today I sat in the backseat and could notice many small road blocks which are normally left unnoted in our reports. We tend to report of the large barriers and barrages at the entry to cities, which are normally open. But in fact the entrances to small villages, whose named we don't even know (and of course, are never mentioned on any signpost along the road) are almost always blocked. Normally we don't report of those blockages in our reports so a reader who is not familiar with what actually happens on the ground might think that things are not really so bad.
Simiya and Samoa: still blocked.
Dura Alfawwar: open.
Sheep's Junction: open.
We meet Michael, Tzipi's son. He claims that the paratroopers are nice and more civil towards the local population than the Give'ati soldiers who left a month ago.
Pharmacy CP: all go through quickly.
Shouhada St.: two TIPH volunteers.
Tarpat CP: people go through quickly.
Tel Rumeida: as we approach the place we see a soldier and an officer instruct a man who is passing through the cp to raise his shirt up. We approach and the soldier asks who we are. From this moment until we leave the place, people are examined in a less humiliating manner and are not asked to raise their shirts up.
At the CP itself, there's one detainee. He was there when we arrived, but we don't know since when. The soldier looks through his ID and lets him go immediately. It seems he was randomly detained, because the soldiers check nothing besides his ID.
The two check people at the CP randomly. I asked the soldier who and how they decide who to check and, after hesitantly looking at the officer, his commander, who seems unhappy about our talk, he answers that they do, indeed, choose randomly – men, women, and sometime also children (he remarks that children, too, are sent on terrorist assignments).
The Palestinian flag, which flew over one of the houses here for months, is now gone. The grocery, which is usually open at these hours, is now shut.
My feeling is that, contrary to Michael's view, the paratroopers are harder on the local civilian population than Give'ati soldiers were.