Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tue 4.9.12, Morning
I won't even bother to describe the routine of 6:30 am when the Meitar checkpoints is already empty and Route 60 is quiet except for school children tempting fate on the margins.
The same goes for Hebron: A frosty reception by CPT volunteers at the Pharmacy checkpoint, Shuhada Street deserted except for settler children waiting for their transportation to school, the Tarpat and Tel Romeida checkpoints are also quiet, staffed by a Nahal unit. Is it just an illusion that there is a greater turnover of units recently? A Martian visitor might wonder where all the people have gone too.
But on the way back, at the checkpoint called Bend 160, a small crowd of Palestinians surrounds a little girl, Rahab, who has hurt her foot in the carousel gate of the checkpoint. A Btselem photographer is there and several neighbours, but no-one has thought to sit the child, who is clearly in pain, nor to call an ambulance. The soldiers (not clear which unit, but definitely not Border Police) are indifferent. After some persuasion, the medic agrees to examine the foot, which he does very gently and to everyone's satisfaction, declares that there is no break and binds the injured limb. (Unfortunately the bandage is so tight Rahab's foot turns blue, but that is a minor matter.) The commander (rank of sergeant) refuses to allow us to cross the checkpoint in the van to take Rahab home, even though her house is in full vew of the checkpoint. Finally a Palestinian ambulance is called and Rahab is taken to a local hospital for an x-ray. The carousel, like all carousels at checkpoints, is narrower than the standard used within Israel. It is also rather loose. We are told that small children often get trapped or receive injuries to their feet. We asked the commander whether he could open the gate used to pass vehicles for children but he replied that he only followed orders. At that moment the gate opens to pass a herder with a flock of goats. He yells at us with much F....ing and B.....ing. It turns out that once he tried to disentangle a goat from the barbed wire that covers the gate, and was arrested together with his flock. Goats: stay away from IDF barbed wire in future.The Betselem worker had never met MW before but told us leeringly that he approved of women's organizations,he had two wives at home and was thinking about bringing a third. Maybe he meant one of us, or both?! Later M reported that Rahab did not break any bones and was home and well.
Home along 317 where Jewish Susiya is expanding on the horizon.