Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Wed 13.3.13, Morning

Observers: 
Yael Agmon, Hagit Beck (report and photos)
13/03/2013
|
Morning

 

Translator:  Charles K.

 

The photographs:

Curve 160 checkpoint in Hebron – small stones the children threw

Soldiers who came from the Jabel Juhar neighborhood (Area H1, which is supposed to be under Palestinian control)

Helmets sitting on the concrete barriers instead of on the soldiers’ heads.

The pillbox on Highway 60 at the Dura – Al Fawwar junction.

The sign warning it’s dangerous to enter Area A, soldiers alongside.

 

Yesterday a Palestinian youth was killed by live fire at the Dura Al Fawwar junction on Highway 60.  And today?!  Today everyone’s on alert, sad, with heavy hearts.  If you read the entire report you’ll agree with me that Edmond Levi is wrong – there is in fact an occupation!!!

 

What we did on today’s shift (tales of the occupation)

 

Meitar checkpoint

By 06:45 all the laborers had crossed and wait for their rides…the earthworks continue and the rubbish is still there.

 

Highway 60, Southern Hebron Hills

Khirbet Tawwani – The soldiers escorting the children walking to school from Umm Tuba arrive on time this morning.  The Palestinians have asked us to try to arrange for the children to be driven to school.  The Civil Administration representatives have thus far refused – we asked our attorney, Gabi Lassky, to write some letters.  We’ll see what happens.  The children have been walking to school with a military escort since 2004.  Wouldn’t it be easier to find the hoodlums from the Ma’on Farm and get rid of them?  They’re on privately owned land; cf. Talia Sasson’s report.

 

Zif junction – We see here for the first time the army’s heightened preparations – vehicles for dispersing demonstrations, Border Police vehicles and a squad of soldiers at the checkpoint – no one is crossing and there’s very little vehicle traffic.

 

Kvasim junction – Border Police soldiers standing under the pillbox stop a Palestinian motorcyclist, check him and release him immediately when they see us.

 

The junction to Kiryat Arba on Highway 60

Palestinian families own land beyond the gas station, below Mitzpeh Avichai and before Giv’at Mamreh – approximately 30 dunums.  For thirteen years they haven’t been allowed to reach their land and cultivate it.  Today, following coordination between the Palestinian and the Israeli DCO, they came with tractors to try to enter and work the land.  They reached the entrance gate; the Kiryat Arba security people didn’t let them through.  When we met them they’d already been waiting for three hours, trying every way they could to convince the Palestinian DCO to arrange things with the Israeli DCO, but to no avail.  We see the despair and helplessness in their eyes.  We referred them to Yesh Din.  They talked to M., from Yesh Din, in our presence; let’s hope something comes of it.

 

Hebron

We visit the teachers at the Cordova school.  The handrail of the stairs has been repainted…giving apartheid a festive air.  Again they request what we haven’t been able to implement …Hebrew classes…

 

The green apartheid fence on the eastern side of the Cave of the Patriarchs plaza sparkles in the sun.

 

Curve 160 – The occupation’s Rashomon continues.  A Palestinian stops us just before the checkpoint.  He tells us that five 9 and 10 year old children from the Assissiya boys’ school in Jabel Johar threw stones at the checkpoint.  In response, the soldiers entered the school and sprayed tear gas.  The teachers then closed the school; they’re now on strike.  An ambulance evacuated pupils who were injured.

 

We reach the checkpoint – the gate is open, three police cars and a military vehicle, senior officers on site – no one wearing a helmet, everyone relaxed, some drinking coffee, a few small stones scattered on the street.  We asked how many children were here – 50-100, they reply.   (We see almost no children and very few passersby).  The gate is still open; two soldiers walked into the neighborhood, stopped past the first grocery store and then came out.

 

What really happened?  You decide between the two versions.  On the basis of what I saw, I tend to believe the Palestinians.  One of the soldiers checks his iPhone to see whether there were reports on Walla or Ynet.

 

The occupation routine?