Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Tue 5.5.09, Morning
Sansana: 6:40am, the CP seems empty and workers appear to be passing through as soon as they arrive.
Tarquomiya: 09:00am – as we arrive, five buses of prisoners' families' visits arrive. The workers passed through uninterrupted, and there is no line at the local Laison and Coordination admin. offices, although there are still long lines at the Hebron L&C offices (this is based on information given us by Palestinians, not first-hand impression). It is worth recommending to them that they should go to the CP at Tarquomiya – the same services are given in both places.
At the old CP, there is a horde of trucks, awaiting phone-notification, inviting them over to the CP – still, there are no toilets at all even as the drivers might wait here for four hours and more.
Two weeks ago, a Palestinian was shot dead here. We heard the details from one of the Palestinians present there now: the 65yrs old Palestinian from Halhul went to the CP in order to be shot at. His family sold his sheep and he was left with no living – his despair was so bad, that he wished to die. Committing suicide is religiously prohibited and so, he approached the CP, acting in a manner which he knew would make the soldiers shoot him. To his great chagrin, he was shot only in the foot. We thought to ourselves how horrible it is that people become so desperate as to head for the CP, to be shot dead. And how horrible it is that in the Palestinian consciousness, CPs are where one can be killed: shot dead.
Next to Samo'a-Simiya: the rubble hills and road-blocks have been reset. One way leading to Simiya is open – the other, seriously blocked. Maybe the army left one way open in order to harass the locals still more. The turn to Samo'ah is open, and Palestinian taxis can pass through – the grey gate has not been shut – in fact, it was discarded altogether.
The road is packed, plenty of army vehicles.
Next to Beit Hagai, on the southern hill, a new military base has been set up. In the other direction, next to the grey gate at the entry to Hebron, a group of women-soldiers (one of them wearing a red Palestinian Kafia) is getting organized for some military drill – they carry cardboards resembling stone-protective shields. Next to the gateway to Beit Hagai a military bulldozer stands, along with two police vans and a horde of military vehicles.
On our way back we talk to the soldiers and find out that there was a large military training there, apparently a training aimed at practicing the evacuation of a settlers stronghold (illegal settlement). The megaphones are still on there and a certain demonstration takes place in front of about 200 soldiers, but we didn't catch whatever was said there.
Sheep's junction: the soldiers descend from the pillbox to secure the car of three settlers who got stranded with their car.
Shuyukh-Hebron: girls' school: a civil track escorted by the brigade's engineering corps' soldiers collect the concrete blocks – now it is only beautiful Hebron stones that are used for roadblocks – thereby contributing, perhaps, to the aesthetic presentation of the occupation. Over all junctions, flags of Israel are set – as it to intentionally annoy – as well as the settlers' publicity-slogan: "Judea and Samaria: the story of every Jew's".
Ukafim Junction: the pillbox is manned, and traffic flows.
Olive pathway: open
Idna-Tarquomiya: pillbox, manned – traffic, flows.
There's a very strong feeling that the army, conjointly with the Border Police, is increasing the levels of harassment and petrol – the atmosphere is very tense and harsh.
The House of Dispute: preparation for the opening of the Border Police's base there are finalizing: on the roof, a structure with some more water tanks was set up; the concrete blocks and pillbox have been painted white and great – Border Police bases' identification mark – the entry to the house was surrounded by still more concrete blocks.
Along the way to the House of Dispute, many children walk every morning to school. The Hebron children's routine, which is already full of the military anyway, is about to become still more so.
Below the House of Dispute, a Border Police Jeep detains some people. Just as we are there, someone's ID is handed back.
The prayers' route: the gate is open, and there is no military presence.
Curve 160 (what was previously "Schorr CP"): a new, small pillbox, the yellow gate is open but Border Police soldiers detain almost everyone who passes through, which seems odd given that they all walk in the other direction from the Jewish Quarter. It seems to be harassment for its own sake, because no one is detained for more than ten minutes, and all this is while so many children walk through to school there.
CP at Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave's entry: here, too, Border Police soldiers check every youngster walking to school and go through their school bags – it seems odd because no one is normally checked here.
Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave CPs: no detainees. Shops are shut and the loudspeaker, too, does not work.
Pharmacy CP: outside of the CP, a new patrol position was set up, but the children run through and there are no special check-ups.
Tarpat CP; Tel Rumeidah CP; Avraham Avinu Neighborhood CP: there are no detainees, but also very few people walking through. No peace activists can be seen around.
Shouhada St.: the paratroopers' patrol walks through, and they all stand by to guard the Jewish settlers' children who await their transport. Along the Shouhada Rd. and next to all CPs, there are flag of Israel – Hebron always leaves one with a bad feeling.