Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Mon 18.6.12, Morning

Observers: 
Hagit Back, Muriel Ram (guest), Muhamad (driver) and Ofra (guest/reporter)
Jun-18-2012
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Morning

 

Translator:  Charles K.

 

The report was written by Ofra – today a guest who used to be active in Machsom Watch and hasn’t been in the Southern Hebron Hills for almost three years.

 

Meitar crossing – Sansana

07:30  Heavy traffic of trucks and people.  Everything seems to be ok.  Many come to the checkpoint in vehicles; the parking area is crowded (which is usually a sign of improved economic conditions); no delays or detaineesinfo-icon.  Many laborers prefer to cross here rather than at Tarqumiyya because it’s “friendly.”

 

Southern Hebron Hills

Yesterday two Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire. During our shift we tried to clear up some questions arising from the reports in Israeli media:

The incident occurred near an army pillbox (the tallest one in the southern Hebron hills) – how is it that the soldiers weren’t involved at all and didn’t do anything?

Why would three Palestinians order a tow truck from the Ashqelon/Ashdod area (that’s how the driver explained what he was doing there)?

The Palestinian version differs from what the Israeli media reported.  While in Israel the driver is viewed as a hero who succeeded in overcoming two terrorists who’d set an ambush for him, the Palestinians say that they were partners in shady business deals involving auto theft.  The three Palestinians and the Israeli arranged to meet; they had an argument over money that led to the violence and the murder.

 

Sussiya

all the structures and tents were issued demolition orders.  Solidarity groups plan a vigil and demonstration Friday, 22 June, in support of the villagers.  Everyone is invited to participate.  Transportation is available from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Trees have been planted along Highway 60. The plastic sleeves protecting the trees remind us of the JNF, but we’re not sure who did the work.

 

Hebron

Almost no one on the streets in Hebron.  It’s very hot.  A few children carry pails on their way to the food distribution point.  Many soldiers; our impression is that units in the area are being relieved.  Usually that involves a number of unsettled days, shows of strength by the new soldiers and commanders for whom it’s important to show who’s in charge of the neighborhood.

What was most noticeable to me, someone who hasn’t been here for a long time, was the obvious difference between the accelerated development of the Jewish settlements and the stagnation and neglect on the Palestinian side.

There’s at least one new neighborhood in every settlement (Ma’on, Carmel, Sussya, Asa’el, Mitzpeh Ya’ir), the roads have been repaved, streetlights installed, new trailers, plantings and large signs advertising summer camps, pools and Jewish sovereignty.

In the Palestinian localities, everything is still the same, completely static.  The area looks as though the authorities have utterly forgotten it.  That’s extremely depressing.