Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Tue 8.12.09, Morning
Trans. by Naomi S.
Goods transfer proceeds as usual and the Palestinians do not complain about the worker's passage in the morning. In the Palestinian trucks' parking area (where the previous CP used to be) a fight begun between two drivers – the fight quickly turned into a clan-affair. The IDF pushed them towards the entry to Idna, and a friend of ours who lives next to the grocery alerted the Palestinian police. The reservists stood there, by their Jeep, and watched the Palestinian policemen calm people down. In the vicinity we met some people who complained again of being Shabak victims (basically: prevented from entering Israel, and hence working!) – they are so certain that we or, anyway, Sylvia can help them, and the heart aches with pain over being so helpless.
The owner of the local grocery store tells us that it is usually quiet and that when reservists man the pillbox, there are no surprise CPs either.
The olive passage is open, and all pillboxes are manned. There is no military presence and quite a few Palestinian cars.
"Tomorrow's war", announces a green signpost at the base up on the Harsina Hill. Golani (IDF brigade) are getting ready…We enter Hebron through the Border Police base because we didn't feel like crossing through Kiryat Arba. Leaving the base right at the Kapisha Neighborgood, where the Zion Route begins – the one which the Defense minister so proudly announced to facilitate the Palestinians' life – well, the route is shut! It's already 12 days that it's shut. A', our ironmonger friend tells us that it is due to the soldiers' lethargy, who'd rather avoid the endless opening and shutting of the gate – although the older grocer says that it's because something that's happened on route 60. We know that the Hebron police thought that in purely utilitarian terms operating the gate was sheer waste of manpower, when only about 11 cars pass through there daily. But why only 11? Because the route there was never really opened – the amount of permits that were required, and the number of checks that were done… mere occupational excuses have characterized this failed attempt to open the route. And what have the Palestinians "earned" thereby?? Yet another Checkpoint!!! The curve 160 checkpoint, which is manned and where people are stopped and detained whenever someone arrives who Border Police soldiers suspect. This is a repetitive routine in the Hebron – the house of dispute (beit Hameriva) was evacuated, but the checkpoint put up there was not taken down… a real flourish of checkpoints in Hebron.
Tel Rumeidah CP, the Pharmacy CP, TARPAT CP: all are deserted when we pass by them. At the Patriarchs' Cave CP – initially, there are six detainees, then four, then they are all released. At Abed's store we meet Yehuda of "breaking the silence" (Israeli NGO) who conducts a private tour here for an important visitor. He tell us that today, at 10:30am, A' – a Bezelem investigator – was spanked on the face by a Golani soldiers at the TARPAT CP. We talked to A and he intends to file a complaint at the Hebron police station. On the same spot, we meet also the infamous Ofer Ohana – today he has no camera with him and is even quite nice – and he tells us that if we didn't do nonsense, he actually likes our being in Hebron – every Jew there is good.
To Abed he doesn't say hello – he's cross with him for having filed a complaint concerning the noise coming out from the Gutnik House. The other Palestinians we talk to in Hebron tell us that at least they haven't experienced settlers' harassments for the two weeks since Netanyahu's announcement regarding the building freeze in the territories – the "price tag" policy hasn't yet been implemented, apparently.
Routes 356, 317
In Um El Hir there are many new, sweet goats… but the differences between the thriving Carmel settlement and Abed's family's living conditions say it all.
Three busses of prisoners' families – and no complaints regarding workers' passage this morning.
Our shift was peaceful – and we have to keep going out, overcoming anxiety!