Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Sun 11.10.09, Morning
When we arrive, the workers have already left the Palestinian side and await their transport on the Israeli side. These are the "authorized" workers, in possession of work permits.
South Hebron Hills
The workers who are desperate to make their living but who do not possess the treasured permits have to take the risk and attempt to cross the "loose" point on the security fence, somewhere between Ramadin and Kibbutz Lahav, in the slim hope of making it past the army patrol and finding a day's work. This is where human hunting takes place. Following Gideon Levi's mesmerizing piece in this past week's Ha'aretz weekend Magazine, M took us to a place at the far end of Ramadin. Many workers stood on hilltops around, tensely following the patrol Jeep hovering on the faraway rods. They pointed at some figures who moved at a distance, who were clearly unable to cross the border, as the Jeep was already chasing them – and indeed, they were very soon caught up.
"If we told you what we go through here, a mere 24hrs couldn't have been enough" one of them sighs. "When they get any of us, they immediately confiscate our cell phones, confiscate the vehicles and crash them – and you, try to file a complaint!"
It occurs to me that the broken passage in the fence may have been left so on purpose, for the joy of hunting. Suddenly, everyone mounted the vehicles and disappeared, because the Jeep was approaching. The Patrol called upon us. They were from the Army's Civilian (as distinguished from Combative/Front) Division. When Leah explains to the officer what was the purpose of our visit, and presented to him Gideon Levi's piece, he told us: "this is not here. We don't know of this. We just perform our jobs in the best possible way, just as you do yours." If their job is to occupy, then they certainly do it most energetically.
No special events. We went up to Tel Rumeida, turning right to Jabel Rahma neighbourhood, beyond which lies the bustling city.
Opposite the shops just in front of the Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave, three detainees stood waiting, for their documents to be returned to them: it took about 20min (5 subsequent to our arrival).
The special units (military) blocked an entry to one of the roads, explaining that this was on account of a stolen vehicle that was found.
We decided that our CP (Sansana-Meytar) is "nicer". The security person who checked our documents was rude.