Southern Hebron Hills, Hebron, Sansana (Meitar crossing)
.Translator: Charles K
By 7 AM most of the laborers have already crossed. Those refused entry who remained on the wrong side weren’t eager to speak to us – for the first time I felt some hostility, even from the peddlers. The Red Cross representative complained to us about the company operating the Meitar crossing, saying that they’re inefficient as well as heartless! He said Tarqumiya is administered better, and the IDF’s checkpoints are also not as bad! We distributed a flyer to those refused entry who asked for help, with phone numbers of the humanitarian office – what else can we do these days? The hostility wasn’t surprising. We were dressed more “businesslike” for a change, because I had an appointment for work in Jerusalem – perhaps that affected how they related to us
We took Route 317 to Hebron so we could return an ID card to a prisoner from Yatta who had been released. The road is deserted, the landscape overpowering, and only when we neared Yatta did we see schoolchildren. There’s a checkpoint at the entrance road to the town, about 300 meters from the main road. Eight soldiers in full battledress, everything, with cocked weapons. But they didn’t check anyone, except for us, of course, who looked very suspicious, while we waited to meet the owner of the ID card.
Hebronis quiet and sleepy in the autumn sun. We decided to forgo visiting Abed, and Netanya’s efforts single handedly to support the Palestinian economy. We walked along the Worshippers’ route. The houses are still bricked up. Next to Osama’s house we met workers who told us they're fixing it up so the Jews don’t take it.
Osama(cf. previous reports) has an elderly mother, and when his door was bricked up it made access extremely difficult. Da’ud Jabbar, who owns the shoe factory next to the Worshippers’ route, told us that Osama’smother died a few days ago; he and his family went to live elsewhere temporarily until his house's renovation is completed. Da’ud said that Osama has a building permit from the Civil Authority, making him immune to trespassing by settlers. Let’s hope he’s right.
Next to Da’ud’s factory is an old house, very lovely despite being very neglected, which belongs to him. He wants to turn it into a kindergarten or a clinic “so settlers don’t invade it and make our lives hell.” (His own home overlooks that house.) He added that another alternative, less desirable, is that Hamas will take it over – which will probably result in the IDF showing up at all hours, day and night. (Maybe he added that for balance, so we don’t think he only complains about Jews…and perhaps he meant what he said – who knows?) What’s interesting is that people are taking the initiative and acting to prevent their property from being stolen. I think this is a new phenomenon, after the mass flight from the town in previous years. We shook hands with Da’udin parting and drove to Jerusalem.
Route 60 and Jerusalem
Route 60 is open, even at Etzion and the checkpoint at the tunnels. On Hebron Road, a main road in Jerusalem from south to north, we saw a large group of “checkpoint people” waiting for a bus to East Jerusalem, apparently looking for odd jobs. It was already almost 10 AM.