Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Wed 18.8.10, Afternoon
Observers: Netanya G, Yehudit K (reporting) Mohammed and visitor
Sanana-Meitar slept peacefully in the afternoon sunshine; Route 60 on the other hand, was, relatively, popping with a lot of fancy cars practising their speed-craft, all with green license plates. We made a short circuit of Hebron in the van and there is nothing to add to our previous reports, except that there was relatively more Palestinian pedestrian traffic than usual, probably because of Ramadan.
At the old market, where the lush vegetation looks like a botanic garden, two settler lads were doing something that looked like gardening. Outside K. Arba on the hilltop, one lone caravan and a car.
Apparently all is peaceful, the cages are empty and the checking points deserted, except for a trickle of people. The deputy manger of the checkpoint approaches us with words of welcome and provides an explanation about the efficient and humane management of the checkpoint and the intention to hand over Qalandia to the Ministry of Defence borders unit next year as well. According to him, it's so pleasant that people come there just for the pleasure of crossing there, a real paradise on earth. He takes us on a tour of the installation and when we admire a row of sparkling lavatories tells us that the Palestinians used to steal the toilet bowls and therefore these toilets are not for their use, they have dug pits for them instead. (The image of the harried Palestinians, rushing to cross the checkpoint and meet their impatient employers, or hurrying home at the end of a long working day, loaded with purloined loos is material for a sit-com surely). We part with handshakes and promises to come again. We meet some returning workers who tell us that the situation at the checkpoint in the mornings is just dreadful and to come and see for ourselves.