Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Sun 14.2.10, Morning
Translated by Charles K.
Very many laborers still waiting on line when we are there at 6:45, but there’s no confusion. Anat and Tamar were there since early morning (five-thirty). On Sunday mornings an additional crossing should be opened, perhaps the way we once saw that S., who’s in charge of the crossing, had done - using the vehicle crossing. In any case, on Sunday morning, even though all four screening stations are open, they’re not enough.
The almond trees are in bloom. The sign we saw last week near Simiya, welcoming the released prisoner, has been removed, the children are walking to school along the roadside.
Kadura Alfawwar: The soldiers came down from the pillbox, and three stand near the concrete barriers, but don’t stop traffic or inspect anyone – maybe they just got bored up there.
The road junction: the pillbox is manned, traffic flows.
Hebron-Shiyuch Beit Anun: taxi and pedestrian traffic still handled “back to back”, but there’s no army presence.
No detainees at any of the checkpoints. Staff at the al Ibrahamiyya Boys School are reluctant to tell us what happened Friday in the casbah. Soldiers killed a Palestinian, claiming he tried to stab them. For anyone who doesn’t know – the entire casbah is in H1, an area under Palestinian control. What were the soldiers doing there?! The dead Palestinian is apparently from the Ja’abari family – which suffered most from rioting settlers near Beit HaMeriva.
Pharmacy checkpoint: A nice, really nice soldier inspects all the children going through – at least 50 while we’re there. They let us stand on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint. Each child takes his satchel and passes it to the soldier who opens it and looks inside the pencil case. The children – some of them are really tiny, six or seven years old. Those older children wearing belts remove them. The crossing is quick and smooth – but there hasn’t been a study yet of the motivation to strike back and of anxiety among children who are suspect from birth. The 16 year old lad with his 2 year old brother who live next to the checkpoint cross back and forth on their way to the grocery store – they smile at us and say good morning… but the despair…God only knows…
We don’t see the peace activists at the checkpoint, nor at any of the other checkpoints. The TIF police pass on the road and the gate opens for them, but they also don’t release any information about the Palestinian killed on Friday.
The checkpoint opposite the Avraham Avinu neighborhood has moved, and is now located on Shouhadeh Street, not in the alley.
Curve 160 checkpoint: Soldiers sit in their position and children run around outside.
Tzion route: After investigation, we discovered that 21 Palestinian cars have permission to drive from the Curve 160 checkpoint to Giv’at Ha’avot, where an electric gate has been installed which is controlled by a soldier sitting at the entrance to the neighborhood. Drivers show him their authorization and go through. A forward police post has been established in the first house of the Avot neighborhood. The soldier manning the entrance to Giv’at Ha’avot is from the Shimshon battalion. The entrance to the Hebron police station is through the entrance to this neighborhood – Palestinians enter the police station through the rear entrance.
Beit Ha’meriva [House of Dispute] Checkpoint: Soldiers on the roof and in the pillbox. The barbed wire protecting the Ja’abari’s house looks like it has been moved by someone. (I hope there’s no connection to what happened Friday – but no Palestinian is around to ask). The municipality is restoring the cemetery, and paving a road. We run into Bassam – he didn’t seek permission to drive his car on the Tzion route, and parks farther up, next to Beit Ha’meriva, and rides from there to town. He says that it’s a little easier to make a living…if only that were true.
In the grocery at the junction we hear about demolition orders for houses, issued by the Civil Administration – houses near Otniel…We referred them to Arik Asherman, who might be able to be of more help.
The occupation is becoming less burdensome. But the despair is the same, and the racism hasn’t changed.