Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Wed 21.7.10, Morning

Observers: 
Natanya G. Yehudit K. (reporting) Mohammed driving, translating
21/07/2010
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Morning

 

       

 

In order to see Hebron at its best we set out late, 8:45 from Jerusalem

and Beersheva respectively.  Sansana/Meitar was deserted. Route 60 was

busier than usual with some real Grand Prix driving, Including

demonstrations of daring (or suicidal tendencies) like overtaking 6 cars

on a no-overtaking stretch. Perhaps it's a novel form of civil

disobedience, but we ourselves continued at a normal pace and reached

Hebron at 9.30.  To our surprise it was just the same as ever, deserted

and dusty. At Checkpoint 160  one soldier dozed in the shade, the

pharmacy checkpoint was deserted, we saw no military patrols near the

Worshippers Route nor anywhere else. At Beit Hadassah a lone soldier

half heartedly waved to us but thought better of it and dropped his

hand.  At the Tarpat Checkpoint we were surprised to see a settler

detained by two soldiers as he passed from H1 to H2 (what was he doing

there?). To ensure that his civil rights were not violated G-d forbid we

waited around and shortly he was allowed to pass, and in recognition of

our solidarity took close-up photos of us.  We removed sunglasses to

ensure he got a good image, and we photographed him photographing us. It

was quite touching.  We then had a conversation, very polite despite

violent undertones, (his) and we admired his T-shirt which carried on

the front a drawing of a bull's eye target and the motto: 'Preparing the

IDF for the target', on his back it said something like 'who helps the

enemy is THE ENEMY.' (rough translation from Hebrew, and the original

was neither grammatical nor poetic).  In answer to our questions he said

that the enemy must be neutralized or hospitalized.

At settler Tel Romeida a Palestinian family was being detained, a local

shopkeeper said by the GSS/Shabak. Some 10 minutes later we saw them

pass, a father and several small children. We were in the van and there

was nowhere to stop on the narrow street - just as well. Judging by the

father's expression he had enough of Israeli questions, however well

intentioned.

We stopped off at Abed's by Gutnick. A young man, also Abed, had a

bruised face following an attack by a settler a couple of days ago.

Young Abed, who speaks both English and Hebrew, was arrested as a result

and handcuffed. We also encountered a group of Breaking the Silence group

which included the entrepreneur of singer Leonard Cohen and were invited

to present MW to them, which we did with enthusiasm.

We also met two CPTers and exchanged greetings and saw a group of Indian

Muslim pilgrims but had no chance to talk to them.

On the way back to Beersheva we saw a crane demolishing a house at Beni

Naim. We made detour to try and find it but got a bit lost and by the

time we found the right path it was, alas, too late. We did meet the

unfortunate owner Mr Hamdan Amran Ragbi and took his details (given to

Michal Tzadok) while warning him that there was actually nothing we

could do to help. The house was built 20 years ago and he was given no

prior warning of the demolition. Contrary to what we were told by some

soldiers, the house was inhabited and yet another family is now

homeless. We also  saw the crane on its return journey and a lorry full

of debris, both with Palestinian licence plates. The Civil

Administration's little collaborators.  Its a long time since I (YK)

felt such a sense of helplessness and impotence. A sad morning.