Hebron, Sa'ir, South Hebron Hills, Wed 27.2.13, Morning
in the photos:
1. Israeli police detaining an israeli vehicle at the enterance to Yatta, in area A, where Israelis are prohibited to enter.
2. A new blockage (put only yesterday) on the way connecting the vineyard belonging to the settler Menachem Livni and Bani Na'im.
Translator: Charles K.
Southern Hebron Hills
We drove to Hebron on Highway 317 to meet a man from Yatta and give him a present from our northern colleagues and from me in honor of his son’s birth. He thanks us very much, feels uncomfortable: “Isn’t it enough that you help me; must you also give me a present?”
I tell him that I hope he’ll soon be able to support his family and won’t need our help, but for now we women understand what it’s like for someone who’s just given birth and ask him to buy whatever she and the baby need.
People tell us that the police enter Area A at Yatta, arresting and fining people, even though they’re not allowed to do so. We actually saw them, and asked the police officer whether they’re permitted. “Of course,” they say, “because we’re using a security vehicle; it’s armoured.” So they’re allowed, and anyway “stop bothering us and leave.” An ill five year old boy lies in the detained vehicle. The police officers say he’s ok, they talked and joked with him; he’s pretending to be very sick just because we’re here. We didn’t want to make trouble so we “bothered” them only a little more, and drove away hoping the situation would be quickly resolved. Someone should check with the Israeli police to determine whether they’re outside/above the law and permitted to enter Area A, like they’re allowed to park in a handicapped spot, etc.?!
Beni Na’im, Sa’ir, Kvasim junction, Dura al Fawwar
We drove to the area of the vineyard belonging to Menachem Livni, the settler, bordering the town of Bani Na’im. There’s in fact a new roadblock between them. “There were disturbances yesterday,” we’re told. We saw the rocks and debris left behind by the fury. We wanted to see whether there were any signs on Highway 60, particularly at the entrance to Sa’ir, of demonstrations during the funeral there yesterday of the prisoner who died in the Kishon jail. Other than the military presence at the Beit Anun junction and at the entrance to Sa’ir, all was quiet.
On the way back, at Kvasim junction and at the Dura al Fawwar junction the soldiers who came down from the pillbox appear to have been sent reinforcements. Reservists wander around.
Construction has resumed on Bassam’s roof – Amira Hass wrote about his suffering from the proximity to Beit Hameriva. Let’s home the hoodlum settlers let him be.
A small boy – 12 years old, we’re told – has been detained at Curve 160. The soldiers say he threw rocks. His mother and other adults were talking to the soldiers when we got there. After a discussion the boy is released; he and his mother walk to their home in the Jabel Johar neighborhood. People from TIPH are also there, writing down details of the incident. We tell them we’re afraid that the boy was released because of us, but that they’ll come arrest him at night. We gave them our phone numbers and asked to be notified if that happens.
Soldiers everywhere on Shuhadah Street. There are also police at the cemetery. A funeral is underway; the family “benefits” from a military and police escort. “Why?”, we ask. A veteran police officer whom we recognize tells us that the route is guarded during a funeral. The soldiers call it the Chicago route.
We continued along Shuhadah Street. Two soldiers at Gross Square stop us: “Are you allowed to drive here?”, they ask. “Aways,” we reply. “Why should today be any different?”
“It’s forbidden,” they say.
“And who are you?”, one of them asks, noticing M., our driver.
“I’m a human being,” he replies.
The super-motivated soldier wants to detain M. to check his identity. We inform him there’s no reason to detain or to check him and drive on, to his annoyance. He calls for us to stop; his cries echo in our ears. Someone apparently explained to him that he’d gone overboard. We were able to continue.
Soldiers as usual at all the checkpoints on Shuhadah Street and at Tel Rumeida.