Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Thu 23.7.09, Morning
7:30am, families on their way to visits prisoners in Israeli prisons. The checking lane is packed with people, but it seems they walk through quickly. Food vendors on the Palestinian side claim that there are no problems at the CP.
Dura Alfawwar: open.
Sheep Junction: open.
Curve 160 CP: no soldiers and pillbox, locked.
Pharmacy CP: empty.
Tarpat CP: empty.
Tel Rumeida CP: empty.
Patriarchs' Tombs Cave CP: empty, apart from a group of tourists coming to see the cave.
Next to Hadassa House: big posters were put up, relating the story of the 1929 riots.
South Hebron Mount
Ziff Junction: a new sign post announces entry to A zone.
Several hundred meters past the Ziff junction, we encounter an improvised checkpoint. We, of course, are allowed through very quickly, but we then noticed a few Palestinian detainees. We therefore decided to stop on the sideway, finding ourselves parked right next to a group of settlers, standing about 50m away from the CP, next to the military stronghold. We split: I went to the CP to find out how the detainees were doing, while Zipi remained next to the settlers, listening.
At the CP, I talked to a detainee who told me he was there for over an hour already, without knowing why. Then suddenly, lo and behold, barely twenty seconds past my arrival there, he was released.
At the same time, Zipi, who was listening to the settlers (besides one of them, who chased me to the CP, shouting at me not to interfere with the soldiers work, and adding the standard: "how come all the leftists (women) are ugly?"), heard them talking of lands, and pointing in the direction of one of the hills. A woman from among them mentioned how important it is to ensure that the lands don't belong to anyone, to avoid trouble.
This is where one should mention that the entire South Hebron area is awash with posters and signposts crying out "End to the White book!"; "11 new settlement points in Judea and Samaria", and relating a story about how, sixty three years ago, a pioneer spirit has entered the people, following which, over a single night, 11 new settlements were put up in the Negev. It was further said there that, "now as then", on Monday and Tuesday (or perhaps it is the night in-between) 11 new strongholds will be put up. By the way, those strongholds already have names, and their location is clearly marked on maps (see attached photo of a signpost).
At this point, the settler who chased me, turned to one of the soldiers, explaining that they've been waiting for an hour already and so, ought to turn to organize the 'event' already. The soldiers immediately dismantled the CP[!!], while the settler scolded Zipi and me, claiming that our children do not fulfill their reserve duty[…].
Once the soldiers finished taking the CP down, they joined the settlers and all entered the military stronghold. We could hear some of their talk, concerning where the people will be on the day of the event. They claimed that about 2000 people are expected. It is true that this is our own interpretation of that talk, but it seems as if there were talking about military security-coverage for those new, illegal settlements next week.
By the way, in the South Hebron Mount area, there are also other posters, warning the settlers against an approaching evacuation, and advising as to who should be contacted when and if evacuation seems imminent.
Towards the end of our shift, we dropped in, for a visit at the Sousiah summer program. The children welcomed us with a greeting and recited a passage on coexistence… a small island of sanity within this hell…