Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Mon 28.10.13, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
It’s quiet. According to what we’re told by Palestinians we speak to in Hebron, the occupation has become “gentler.” The Chayey Sarah Torah portion weekend passed relatively calmly. Only one Palestinian was injured. Bassem continues to build the second storey of his home.
Building materials are being transferred from one side of the Curve 160 checkpoint to the other, as if there was no road or vehicles that could do the job.
Southern Hebron Hills
A flying checkpoint at Ukafim junction (Highways 35/60).
Here’s how it works: three soldiers descend from the pillbox, place a small triangle on the road reading “Checkpoint” in large Hebrew and small Arabic lettering, and stop cars randomly. Ukafim checkpoint is set up for this so it doesn’t cause a traffic jam. They finish dealing with one car before stopping another. The men have to get out, everyone’s IDs are collected, one soldier reads the ID number over the walkie-talkie to an unseen person at the other end; meanwhile the other two soldiers inspect the vehicle’s trunk. The passengers return to the car and if there are no problems they drive on. The procedure takes about 15 minutes. If there’s a problem with one of the ID numbers the soldiers are allowed to detain people for up to three hours – according to the rules.
Who knows who they stop, and when. Uncertainty is the principle on which the occupation operates. What IS certain, however, is you’ll get stuck somewhere on the road, if not today, or tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow, or some other time, until peace breaks out.