Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tue 9.10.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Nothing unusual at the Meitar checkpoint or along Highway 60 except for the sight of little children and women carrying infants walking from Yatta, apparently on their way to the clinic at Khirbet Tawwani.
They must walk for a few kilometers along an unpaved, uneven path, as well as cross a main highway.
Large signs announce Sussiya is expanding. The new homes are visible from the road.
We started at Beit HaMeriva [House of Contention] -- which the settlers now renamed “Beit HaShalom” [House of Peace]. We wanted to see whether any changes occurred after the court’s decision (namely, that the sale was legal and hence occupation may [theoretically] proceed). A large, festive Israeli flag has been spread over the building, announcing what’s to come. A solitary soldier stands on the roof.
“When are you leaving”, I ask.
“Don’t know,” he replies.
We visited the neighbors who had suffered, are now suffering and will continue to suffer from being too close to “Beit HaShalom.”
B. received a permit from the Hebron municipality to add a second story to his home. The municipality is the body authorized to permit construction in Area H2, but he was nevertheless forced to stop building due to the settlers’ pressure and the army’s threats.
He says that on the instructions of Yesh Din he’s going today to the “Hebron municipal renovation and construction authority” to meet with an attorney, hoping to solve his problem.
Hagit telephones Hagit Ofran, from Peace Now, who explains to B. that the army isn’t allowed to prevent him from building; it’s illegal. His actions are legitimate and justified. She’ll follow up also.
Hagit makes another phone call, to Zehava Galon. She wants a copy of the army’s stop-work order prohibiting construction. That’s the only way she’ll be able to do anything.
B. says there’s no such document. They simply came and threatened him, used violence, detained and handcuffed the laborers and stopped the work. We must keep following up and act because it’s clear that this is happening because he’s too close to Beit HaMeriva, and the Hebron Jews are allowed to do anything.
:The Cave of the Patriarchs
The Border Police soldiers again try to prevent M., our Moslem driver, from parking in the plaza. I show them a legal document indicating that there’s no obstacle to Moslems parking in that lot and they’re forced to back down. A copy of the document is in the car, if anyone should need it.
We saw posters announcing upcoming elections in Hebron, and wanted to learn more about them. People explained that these will be the first elections in 30 years, ten days from now. There are even parties with female candidates.
Everyone we speak to stresses that they’re not involved with politics, but all the parties promise nevertheless to improve social benefits, quality of life, health, education. The occupation’s negative effect on these areas is not often mentioned.
There doesn’t seem to be much trust of politicians. We get the feeling of “nothing new under the sun.”
A new green fence being erected along a portion of the worshippers route leading to the Cave of the Patriarchs, enclosing the way on this side as well and separating Jews from Palestinians.
There are no longer soldiers at Beit HaMachpela. That’s worrisome.
The army patrols all along Shuhada Street; settlers’ children play with a cart and donkey. “Where did the donkey come from?,” Hagit asks.
“What do you care!,” reply the little lords of the land who, like their parents, have forgotten that “courtesy preceded the Torah.”