Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills
in the photo: a DCO officer talking to Mrs. Heikhal
No laborers at the Meitar checkpoint; traffic flows.
Soldiers at the Dura al Fawwar junction, not stopping anyone.
No soldiers at Beit Haggai.
They’re working on the water pipe at the Kvasim checkpoint.
Almost no military traffic.
Our friend H. from Dahariyya says that yesterday morning, during rush hour, soldiers came down from the pillbox at the Dura al Fawwar junction and stopped traffic for a very long time – everyone was late that morning – to work, to school, to errands. A Palestinian leaves home and doesn’t know when he’ll reach his destination; nothing’s certain; always expect the worst…
Tales of occupied Hebron:
Permits for Palestinian vehicles to drive on a road the IDF calls the Tsion route – 32 Palestinians currently have permits. Our friend A., who owns both a grocery and a carpentry workshop, hasn’t received a permit for a long time; he doesn’t know why. In order to obtain one you have to go to the Palestinian liaison administration and fill out forms which are then sent to the Israeli liaison administration. A. says the Palestinians send the forms over quickly; they’re held up by the Israeli army… Today we ran into Y., the deputy director of the Israeli DCO, at the Tel Rumeida excavations, who told me…that’s not possible, that can’t happen…no. But there’s still no permit.
Our friend A. (a B’Tselem volunteer with a camera) tells us there are constantly problems at the Curve 160 checkpoint, in the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood. The Palestinians call it the Arja’abi checkpoint. Border Police soldiers frequently come down from the checkpoint into the Palestinian neighborhood and fire tear gas grenades – they’re afraid of stone throwing.
Construction of the Hebron archaeological park is underway. Yesterday they fended the area from south of the Abu Heikhal family’s home down to the Palestinian parking lot. We run into R., the DCO staff officer for infrastructure and Y., the deputy director of the DCO who are inspecting the preparations. Five soldiers at the entrance to the Abu Heikhal’s home provide security for the project.
David Ben Shlomo, from Ariel “University,” is also there; he directs the excavation – there’s no evidence of a biblical city, just remains from the Hellenistic period. The two officers speak with Mrs. Heikhal. They’ve left a narrow path alongside the fence on which Palestinians can walk, as well as anyone wanting to reach Isa’s house. That’s all part of a grand plan to establish a park from Shuhadah Street down to the spring, to the excavations carried out in the 1960s and in the 1990s and to what they call the Tomb of Ben Yishai. The path will end at the museum of the history of the Jewish settlement in Hebron. All the land is state land which had been leased to Palestinians for 49 years – now it’s been taken from them and they can’t renew their leases – the state has leased it to the Jewish settlement in Hebron.
The Jewish settlement in Hebron has already received a donation of NIS 280,000 to erect the fencing and an addition donation of NIS 180,000 to mark the paths. The excavation itself is funded by the Antiquities Authority – that is, from our taxes as well.
In Hebron we run into Yehuda, from Breaking the Silence, who’s filming for French TV; we hurry to show him the extent of the preparations…all of us expect the worst, and anticipate the checkpoints and emplacement that will be erected there.