Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Mon 25.6.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Both sides of the checkpoint are empty. We asked ourselves what all the inspectors do all day, after the laborers cross. Muhammad says they inspect vehicles. Perhaps.
Harvest is over, sheaves in the fields await Ruth the Moabite to gather them and begin threshing.
It’s almost 10 AM.
Children are on vacation, celebrating in the streets. Some are carrying pots to collect the daily soup ration at the Cave of the Patriarchs, others peek at us from their windows. There’s apparently a day camp or end-of-term party at the Cordova school; we see parents and children within.
We didn’t see anyone from the international organizations. They must have ended their morning shift before we arrived. At the entrance to Shuhadeh street we met bored Naha”l soldiers. They told us their battalion has been posted there for a week as reinforcements for the evacuation of Giv’at HaUlpana.
We went to check the rumor we’d heard over the phone about a fire in the house where Michael used to live, which had served as a meeting place for locals with young people from other countries. The house is empty and locked; we saw the remains of a burned couch in the garden.
It’s possible to reach the house by following the blue trail marked by the settlers. We did so; it led us to the settlers’ neighborhood at the entrance to Shuhadeh street, right up against Hebron’s ancient city wall. Because the international house is so close to that neighborhood, actually adjoining it, a booth with an Israeli flag flying over it has been erected there.
A Palestinian family once lived there but it was unable to bear the settlers’ attacks and the army’s harassment during the terrible years of Tel Rumeida and the height of the intifada. The Palestinians moved out; the settlers, of course, began coming to it, broke in, destroyed its contents and tried to take it over and add it to their settlement.
Issa decided to rent the house in order to save it and initially attempted to live there. The army prevented him from approaching even though he had a rental contract and proof that he’d paid rent.
Following the intervention of an attorney and the threat to appeal to the High Court of Justice, the army ordered that Issa be permitted to move in. A few days of intensive renovations followed, accompanied by Israeli activists 24 hours a day, to prevent what happened to the Shaharbati family. For more info. see: http://fashion.walla.co.il/?w=/10/923048
The military post was erected to make it more difficult for the settlers to harass and damage the house.
We went down to ‘Abed’s shop. He’s expanded his business; he now also sells soft drinks and has set up chairs in the shade where people can sit enjoying freshly-squeezed orange juice or soda. In fact, an Australian group is sitting there. ‘Abed complains that although his stand has been licensed by the Hebron civil authorities the soldiers are harassing him about the refrigerator for the drinks, trying to get him out of there.