Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tue 2.6.09, Morning
Curve 160 CP:
On Tareq Ben-Ziyad Road, Border Police soldiers take the details of passing Palestenians – the passage is the entry-way to a Palestinian Neighborhood. The soldiers don't report those details on, but merely write them down. Fifteen minutes later this, too is off – so why do it to begin with?
The army reflected its "good intentions" when declaring their wish to open the Zion Route and thus, reduce the apartheid practices – but what have the Palestinians gained meanwhile? Merely another checkpoint. The gate has been opened there, and the handicapped girls' wheelchairs can pass through (did anyone read our report of last week?) but many more concrete blocks where now placed there – and it has become a checkpoint for all purposes.
Hazon David stronghold (illegal settlement) – morning prayers is over.
The House of Dispute CP: no detainees and no military vehicle below, either.
Pharmacy CP: almost no people present, nor any detainees. The pillbox at the end of Kapishe neighborhood is still not manned but the CP is very present indeed – taxis stand on the other side of the concrete blocks.
Tarpat CP: no detainees.
Tel Rumeidah CP: no detainees.
Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave: no detainees.
Avraham Avinu neighborhood CP: no detainees.
Cordoba School stairway CP: we see a paratrooper walking towards a settler-driver. The settler stops the car and blocks our way. The soldier approaches us and tells M., our driver, that he cannot drive in Hebron and must immediately turn around and go away. The soldier assists himself with the settler's car and we cannot go ahead – the road is blocked!!! The symbiosis between the settlers and the soldiers is evident for all to see. The reason why M cannot go on is simply that he is Arab. We ask the soldier by whose order he now blocks us, to which he responds: "from up above." In fact, it is the other soldier, standing with him in this checkpoint who gave the order – the very same soldier who first stopped us last week and was racist and offensive towards M.
We turn around in order to continue our telephone enquiry into the source of this racist order, when we are stopped by the soldier standing at the Gross CP – with the same order: "get out of here!" He asks M. for his ID. We angrily step out of the car and I start shouting at him, that I will not tolerate racism from IDF soldiers – handing him my own ID while exclaiming: "arrest me! don't let me through! A 55year old woman, a tax-paying citizen of the state of Israel! If you want M. out of here, you'll have to arrest me first!" At the same time, I call the brigade's headquarters, while Michal calls the police, asking them to come over. Michal's talk with the police is very aggrevating. They will not come – the army is the sovereign here, they argue, and if the army will not M. through, into Hebron, nor can they: indeed, there must be some real problem here. The police does not arrive, then – but I keep shouting that I will not accept racism from the IDF, and please, arrest me! The soldier talks to whoever he does on the phone when, less than five minutes later, he approaches M. who is still in the car all smitten: "I apologize and am so sorry, you are allowed…"
So we turn around to make our usual tour of Hebron.
Conclusion: there was no order from above, nor will there be any, because, should there be one, the army will be in deep trouble! It was simply the arbitrary whim of those soldiers. We will not request a special permit for M. to walk around Hebron – M. is an Israeli citizen just like any of us, so if we're allowed, he is obviously allowed, too. From my own, personal perspective, this is an essential, non-negotiable matter.
The bulldozer appears to be working hard, putting up new blockages and moving concrete blocks around, because it is not in its normal parking place, next to Har Manoach.
On the road to Samoa' – a Border Police Jeep checks cars with yellow (Israeli) registration–plaques.
Beit Hagai: the entry to Hebron: not only have they shut the gate here -- they've also put up some new concrete blocks.
In all other places, the occupational routine is as usual: pillboxes are manner and the big brother is watching without intervening.
Sansana: at 6:30am there are already no workers. By the time we are back, at 8:30am, all five busses of prisoners' families have already left for the prisons.
The sand tracks work as usual.