Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tue 2.11.10, Morning
Translation: Bracha B.A.
1. The occupation's depressing routine continues.
2. The Road to Negohot is open.
The crossing's personnel continue to meet their obligation to let everyone through on time for work. At 06:45 everyone is already on the Israeli side. There are a lot of trucks waiting as well as two busses with prisoners' families.
Heavy traffic in both directions. At the Dura Alfawwar junction the soldiers have come down from the pillbox and examine the traffic headed to Alfawwar. There is a sheep market at the sheep junction with soldiers from the engineering corps observing. We ask them why they are there and they claim they are there only to ensure the market stays within its boundaries and to keep the order… but at least they were polite.
The engineering corps is present also near the entrance to Bani Naim and to Hebron's industrial zone. Graders, a bulldozer, and trucks with a lot of soldiers and non-Jewish laborers are busy moving earth and stones from the left side of the road to the south. They report that they are moving roadblocks, but only temporarily.
The new position at the entrance to Kiryat Arba is manned by a soldier.
The construction of the road and the new neighborhood of Nofei Mamreh is under way. The civilian entrance was opened to us by "the nice guy". Soldiers from the Lavi Brigade are stationed along the Worshipper's Road along with the usual checkpoints. We attempted to ask the locals how the Shabbat went and were told that it was as usual with only a bit more IDF supervision than the usual. It appears that everyone is used to the occupation and there is a strangled feeling at every corner. There are gates surrounding Kiryat Arba in all directions and only settlers open and close them as they wish.
We decided to go back through Tarquomiya. Another row of concrete barriers has been added at the entrance at Beit Anun. The Tarquomyia Crossing is quiet. There are fewer cars going through here than at Sansana. The inspector questioned us as to where we came from, whom we met, what we did, and how well we know Mohammed, our driver. It is reminiscent of other places, other times, and other governments. When we sent regards to Dudi and Tzion, the people in charge of the crossing, our IDs are returned and we are sent on our way.
The Road to Negohot
Since we encountered a sign on Route 60 pointing to Negohot, we decided to look at the entrance from Route 358 which runs parallel to Route 60 and is closed off to Palestinians. The road runs from the Lachish area south to the area of Kibbutz Lahav. It crosses fields and vineyards and is very pretty. We reached a sign to Negohot. We now had to go on a crossroad eastward that is also closed to Palestinians. They must drive on Route 354, where we are not allowed to go and then go on various winding roads to wherever it is they head to. Anyone who is Jewish and wants to go there has to "invent" friends in Negohot, which is what we did. There is a soldier at the entrance to the road to Negohot and he also verifies that Mohammed is not dangerous. There is so much racism everywhere. Palestinians can drive to their homes in Khursa and Tarma and other villages near Negohot but only on Route 60. They can only drive west through Tarquomiya. At least they can drive on the roads surrounding the settlement of Negohot and the twelve families living there. It is surreal and evil, but it used to be worse. We drove on the winding roads to see what daily life was like for the Palestinians and returned to Route 60 via Abda. It was interesting and irritating, but at least the road is open.