Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Mon 18.10.10, Morning
Already empty of pedestrians, a line of trucks awaiting inspection. We saw one bus for the prisoners' families, and it seems to us that these are fewer these days?
Quiet; very little military presence; a flying checkpoint at Bani Naim which was gone by the time we were back.
As usual, deserted. Soldiers of the Kfir brigade are doing their thing. At both the Tarpat and Tel Rumeida checkpoints they assured us that all was well, as did the people we met on our walk up to Palestinian Tel Rumeida.
At the Palestinian entrance to the Patriarchs' Tombs' Caves, opposite Abed's store, a stroppy Border Policeman had detained four or five men. We went through the performance of phoning 'the authorities' and the men were allowed to move to a shady spot. The policeman informed us that we were 'opponents of Israel' and refused to talk to us, we retorted that he was forbidden to make political statements while in uniform and the conversation reached a dead end. After five minutes we witnessed a change of guards and with it, the return of IDs as well as release of detainees. What a farce!
Abed says that some Hamasniks were arrested the other day (in Hebron, what a surprise!) and that this made the soldiers tense.
On our way back we visited the Jaber family whose vineyard was robbed by settlers at the end of last week. Netanya was there on Sunday with Rabbis for Human Rights to help pick what was left. Apparently the army, which was supposed to protect the harvest, left early and the K. Arba neighbours descended likes 'wolves on the flock'.
Netanya and I both feel that our visits to Hebron don't get to the heart of what's happening in the West Bank, Mohammed feels that our presence is important. Anyway, we plod on!