Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Thu 14.1.10, Morning
Translated by Charles K.
At 6:45am the checking lane is empty and many Palestinians are waiting for rides on the Israeli side. Vans transporting laborers are inspected on entering Israel – the line isn’t long.
On our way back all we see is one bus with relatives of prisoners.
We’re almost the only vehicle on the road. All we see is an army jeep. On our way back, the gate to Hebron below the settlement of Beit Haggai is open – Electric Company personnel are working there.
As in “The acacia was blossoming…” by Bialik – the almond tree was blossoming, pillboxes are manned and traffic flows. At Dura al Fawwar and also at the Sheeps' junction. Life goes on and the occupation continues.
Shayukh Hebron: the girls’ school – the pupils cross the road without interference, expect for the most important fact that this is the usual place for the roadblocks and back-to-back transfers between taxis.
(The time is 7:30-7:45am) TIF police – we run into and speak to them at the Pharmacy checkpoint and also at those near the Cave of the Patriarchs – the attitude toward them hasn’t changed. Apparently Danny Ayalon wanted only another good headline for himself, and no serious action was taken against them – one, a Norwegian, agrees with me that they’re not doing anything (cf. the report from Tuesday, 12 January). There’s now a break for exams, and pupils walk to school without schoolbags, just notebooks and pencil, no backpacks, and they’re not delayed anywhere.
At the Beit Ha’meriva checkpoint the soldiers didn’t want to talk to us. The dirt path has been paved (by the Palestinian Authority), and the gravestones at the cemetery (vandalized by the settlers living in Beit Ha’meriva some time ago) are now being repaired.
We couldn’t get any details from Bassam because the grocery store was closed.
The checkpoint down the Worshippers’ route has moved – two bored Border Policemen man it. The worshippers’ route neighborhood is being renovated, and apparently a new sewer pipe is being laid. The cameras are still operating – and the sight of the abandoned neighborhood is as annoying and depressing as usual.
The Patriarch’s Cave checkpoints – The pillbox and the yellow gate have been removed because of renovations at the Moslem’s entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs.
‘Abed tells us that there’s no more loud music from Beit Gutnick.
A Border Policeman talks to us, and from him we understand that we’re seen mainly as naïve people who understand nothing about what our enemies want to do to us. A second soldier is busy getting angry at two little children walking along the dividing wall trying to keep their balance. We tell him they’re only playing, but he sees it as a provocation. Later on this same, pleasant soldier tries to tell M., our driver, that he has to remain in the car…we ignored him, and everything remained peaceful. There were no detainees.
Pharmacy checkpoint – Manned by Border Police, not soldiers from the Shimshon battalion, but the occupation routine doesn’t change – the settlers continue to speed along the roads on which the children are running – very dangerous.
Tel Rumeida checkpoint – The soldiers sit on the curb. Two large armored vehicles for transporting soldiers are parked on the side and don’t detain anyone.
Tarpa't checkpoint – A Palestinian youth with two sledgehammers is detained even though he’s on his way to area H1, but only for 5 minutes. A new Norwegian peace activist is happy to see us and tells us that she heard Hana Barg orienting the group in Jerusalem. Her hands are freezing.
While we were there Baruch Marzel and his short little assistant stop their vehicle and curse us as usual – Israel haters, traitors, interfering with the soldiers, ugly, fat and his other verbal pearls. Shula wants to reply and I follow Gandhi’s policy – don’t answer.
Curve 160 checkpoint – Manned; no detainees.
Kafisha neighborhood – We stop at the “office,” drink coffee, and they tell us that about 50 dunums belonging to one of the family members, between Giv’at Ha’harsina and the base, keep being taken from him and declared a closed military area. We put him in contact with M., from Yesh Din.
Next to the Ashmoret Yitzhak Border Police base, our “escape route,” a large yellow gate is being constructed.
M., our driver, saw Anat Cohen’s car in the distance – next to Beit Hadassah – and we drove slowly away to avoid her. We succeeded and didn’t see her any more.
No unusual incidents.