Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Sun 21.6.09, Morning
trans. by Paula R.
07:00 – 10:30
* Observing the aftermath of a burned tent in Sussia (photo attached).
* An Initiative: a settler sets up a checkpoint and detains three young boys (photo attached).
We arrived after 7 o’clock. The workers had already passed. Families of prisoners were passing.
Traffic is sparse.
No detainees at the checkpoints.
Nasser welcomed us and showed us the results of arson by settlers to a tent. This is what he said: Three people were sleeping in the tent. After 2:00am, dogs started to bark but the neighbors thought it was a military patrol. They woke up because the smoke suffocated them. They put out the fire with buckets of water. They did not hear the noise of an approaching vehicle. However, soon after extinguishing the fire, they discerned a light that seemed from a cell-phone and saw a vehicle moving uphill toward the outpost [illegal settlement] of Degel. The police arrived some time later and suggested that it could have happened because of a cigarette. But the fire burst from outside of the tent not from within. The three habitants went in the morning to the Hebron Police station, to file a complaint. Yesh Din [literally: "Law obtains": Israeli NGO] has been informed.
History: Nasser tells us of their constant harassment by the settlers - rooting up of olive trees, killing a sheppards' dog, beatings, bullying and threats. The purpose of all this is to force the inhabitants out of the southern hills of Hebron. It began in 1982 and by 1986, they were driven from ancient Sussia. So they [settlers] took over their private lands. After a long legal battle, the Israeli High Court acknowledged the locals' right over their land, but permits for building home there are not issued (The engineer who refuses their requests lives in a nearby illegal settlement in a caravan).
Harassment: A bully-settler frightens three young brothers: We left Sussia and, as we rode on Road 317 we saw three boys (brothers between 11–14yrs) standing frightened before a settler who told them not to move: “stana!”
"Why?" we asked.
The settler, Avidan, as we learned, did not give us any explanation. He wore a shirt of The Jewish Agency. The boys told our driver that they cannot go on their way because of the CP. We told the settler that he has no right to detain the boys, but he kept prohibiting from making any move: "Stana!" The children were terrified, so we escorted them and the settler went on, into the field towards his herd.
This was a frightening experience for the children and a frustrating one for us.