Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tue 9.2.10, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
The fenced corridor is already empty. Two buses with relatives of prisoners have already arrived, and the relatives wait under the awning. The people come toward us: “Where were you Sunday? It was chaos. People were taken to the hospital!” We ask what happened, and it turns out that on Sunday it’s more crowded and people are under pressure to get to work on time. As a result – they crowd dangerously into the turnstile. And in fact, one man was crushed and had to be taken to the hospital. In view of this, we decide to reconsider sending a special shift to the Meytar crossing on Sundays at 05:00.
The usual depressing sights of dozens of children walking along the side of the road and endangering themselves on the way to school. A large Arabic sign is posted on the path to the village of Simiya. M., our driver, translates: “Welcome home Ibrahim after 12 years in prison.” We see the same sign on a house up the hill. Apparently that’s where Ibrahim lives. The irony screams to high heavens, because opposite the sign, on the other side of Route 60, an announcement is carved on a large rock: “With God’s help, building materials in Sham’a”, including a cellphone number to call. Farther down the road we were glad to see that the barrier on the way to Qalqilya has been opened. The dirt road looks as if it has been graded, and the large rocks moved by heavy equipment. A little more effort could have been made to clear the road, but it’s better than nothing.
In the Nofey Mamreh neighborhood, at the entrance to Qiryat ‘Arba, we see intensive construction activity. Where’s the freeze? On the hill on the other side, the outpost that sprung up there recently seems to have grown. Hebron is quiet. The occupation continues quietly. Most of the checkpoints are manned by soldiers from the Shimshon battalion, except those at the Pharmacy and the Cave of the Patriarchs, which are manned by Border Police soldiers.
At the Pharmacy checkpoint the passage on the sidewalk between H1 and H2 has been completely fenced in. Polite Border Police soldiers explain patiently and in a friendly manner: “There were cases recently in which people tried to avoid going through the magnemometer, and they even found a knife on someone, and accused us that we hadn’t inspected them properly. Now, everyone has to pass by us.”
At the end of the shift we drove to our “office,” where our Palestinian friends said goodbye to Hagit, who’s going to Australia. It was pleasant and moving.