Hebron, South Hebron Hills
A “boring” ride, nothing out of the ordinary. Even the balloon above Beit Haggai is normal by now. But Hebron doesn’t change…Anat Cohen livened things up. I don’t know when she noticed us, but when we returned from the lovely, renovated Worshippers’ Route stretching from Kiryat Arab to the approaches of the Cave of the Patriarchs we saw she was following us, driving and photographing. We continued, parked in the lot next to the pharmacy. She also parked.
We ignored her, walked to the checkpoint. A Border Police soldier asked whether we’re Israelis, and then reminds us we’re forbidden to cross to area H2. Since it was quiet there, with no detainees, we returned to our vehicle. We ignored her, she waited in her car, we entered ours and she circled around us. We were happy she didn’t get out to confront us; it was clear she wanted to prevent us from driving to Shuhadeh Street, near her house. We decided not to give her an opportunity to get into an argument with us and didn’t go there.
We drove to the Zion route and she left. We saw new cameras above Beit Hameriva, but it’s still fortified and manned by soldiers. Our friend B. continues building his second floor, unimpeded.
We drove toward the Beit Anin-Sa’ir junction. A great deal of traffic on Highway 60. Girls finish school early and try to cross the road home to Sa’ir. They wait a long time, unable to cross, until Netanya and a teacher who arrives manage to cross them safely. Someone says they promised to build a plaza there and preparations have begun. We’ll see what happens. A school for Palestinian girls isn’t sufficiently important.
We meet an old acquaintance near Idna’s olive press. He says that once a month he has to go through the Tarqumiyya checkpoint, and each time it’s awful. Once they told him to get undressed; he refused and returned home. “Doesn’t Israel understand that if they station people there who treat us like animals, they reflect on Israel itself?” he asks.
Southern Hebron Hills
Sylvia called. There’s someone in Shweika, a village next to the illegal outpost of Mitzpeh Eshtamoa, whom she’s helping appeal a blacklisting; she’d like us to speak to him.
We made a appointment and met him. During the past two months he’d been attacked and beaten by settlers; once they even came into his home, and once he’d been attacked while grazing his sheep in the field. This is a village whose fields have been frequently damaged. Last year settlers burned 55 dunums of wheat. What did the authorities do? Nothing. But the residents lost their work permits.
What’s there to say?! All the state’s actions in this part of the country are overwhelmingly “logical and benign.”
“Yesh Din” is involved, as well as Sylvia; let’s hope they can help. We’ll keep in touch with him.