Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Wed 27.5.09, Morning
Sansana-Meytar: The workers arrive and immediately walk though – the parking lot is rather full, there are no families' visits' buses and the sand-tracks working on both sides have already developed a smooth working model. Road 60As usual, school children already walk along the road to their schools. All blockages are in place. All pillboxes are manned.
Next to Shuyukh-Hebron, a military vehicle is standing. Soldiers sit in the car and don't detain anyone.
Next to Karme – many water tanks await their turn to be filled up, this is where the Palestinian water pipe ends (it's been extended a bit to the south – previously, it was next to Dura Alfawwar).
The gate to Hebron next to Beit Hagai is open on our way back: a military Jeep secures the works of the Israeli Electricity Corporation; in the morning, this gate was shut.
The Olive Thruway is open and the pillboxes are all manned.
On the Halhul-Hebron bridge, there's a rolling checkpoint. The soldiers got down from the pillbox but they do not detain any cars and traffic flows. (We arrived there from the Olive Thruway, the way we previously used to the bridge is now blocked).
Tarqumiya-Idna: Traffic flows, pillbox is manned. The grocer tells us that it is quiet lately.
Hazon David: at the synagogue at the base of the Patriarchs' Hill (Ghive'at Ha'avot), prayer is in full course as we arrive – it is the end of Shacharit (morning) prayer – this synagogue is on the list of illegal settlements to be removed. It was taken down already twice, but rebuilt every time.
The House of Dispute: it is not the base of Border Police, painted in its green-white colors. The checkpoint standing next to it operates as usual. When we are there, there are no detainees and children walk through to school.
Curve 160: another border police CP. Just as we arrive, a detainee is released, and a crowd of children walk through to school. The two handicapped girls, who get to school on wheelchairs, need to bow their heads down to pass through the concrete blocks because there's not enough space between them for the wheelchairs to pass through: the child who wheels them through has to do so too, because the gate itself is shut. We drew the soldiers' attention to that and were told to talk to the officers and then, that additional sentence "OK. I'll put it on record." I don't believe they will do anything, but we must keep insisting – it is surely possible to distance those concrete blocks enough for a wheelchair to pass through them.
Pharmacy CP: exactly as we arrive, a horde of children arrives, running from the CP and children are children, are children. They start fighting among themselves and hitting each other, a boy of about 10yrs falls onto the ground. I run towards him, separating the vying parties. The child is all scratched and has a bruise to his head. A settlers' car drives past in full speed – the children must be taken off the road, because the settler will not slow down – he couldn't care less about Palestinians, irrespective of whether they're children. I do all I can to move the children away and manage to do so barely a minute before the settler's car drives past. The Border Police soldier come running from the CP, enquiring "is it because of me?!" No. I reply, it's because kids will be kids. I take the bruised child in hand, towards the boys' school, with all the rest following suit. I look for A., our acquaintance and the school's admin. manager there. A and I walk back to the CP – in a sort of grandparents' role – calming the anxious soldier down together. At the CP there are now three new peace activists from the Tel Rumeidah Project, who seem to have no idea as to what they're to do there.
Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave CPs: no detainees. The talk between us and the Border Police soldiers proceeds amicably and the main question is who'll win tonight – Manchester United or Barcelona – and, for this once, there's a consensus between the Border Police and the Palestinians: they all want Barcelona to win.
Tarpat CP: the soldier manning the CP was extremely racist towards M, our driver and we don't want to stop there for anymore than is called for. Na'ama gets off our vehicle and he stares at her with flaring hatred. On our way back from Tel Rumeida, we see them detain a Palestinian, bring him to the wall and make him stand there in the usual legs-apart position. When we approach, they let him go. It is impossible to avoid the thought that, if it was necessary to do this to begin with, they shouldn't have let him go as we approached… after all, they've clearly not had the time to properly search him through – it was barely two-three minutes.
Tel Rumeida CP: no detainees.
Kapisha Neighborhood – Harsina Hill CP: the CP is not yet manned – the Zion Route has not been opened yet and the army keep working there. The Civilian Admin. complained against the owners of a factory located here, issuing a demolishing edict. This factory has already been demolished once – we were shows photos from about seven years ago, and shown us the record of a complaint filed this month concerning the theft of two electricity boards. According to the factory's owners, the soldiers stole those electricity boards – the complaint is from May 17th. We renew their connection with M. of Yesh Din (literal for "There Is Law": Israeli NGO), who set an appointment with them for next week. During this time, we sit in their office, where we then also meet a Norwegian reporter who intends to write a book on the humiliation of the occupation. Just imagine that there is no other place, where we could just sit in Hebron – a simple café which would be sufficiently out of the settlers' eyes. So whoever wants to drink tea or simply sit down and take a break from Ofer and Anat can find temporary refuge there (Basem's grocery was closed).
We left Hebron – without encountering Ofer and Anat – a great relief – but Hebron is a rough and evil place without them as well.