Hebron, South Hebron Hills
South mt. Hebron
The road is quiet, except for the soldiers who came down from the pilbox at Dura Al-Fawar intersection, and they check cars, the same happens at Beiet Hagai checkpoint.
Things are as usual at the Cave of Machpela: there are buses with tourists from all over the world standing at the Muslem entrance.
The pharmacy checkpoint - There are soldiers gathering around some women. We approached them. "Get away from here!" the soldiers shout. We did not get away. A few minutes later they return to the area of the shed. There is one young woman sitting and crying, three women gather around her.
They answer our questions. A few minutes before we arrived the young woman had run with a knife and handed it to the soldiers, asking them to kill her. They had understood the problem, and set her on a chair, but had not taken the knife from her. We spoke with her, gave her something to drink, and she cries... She has nowhere to go back to. Her husband had married a second wife, her parents are bad, and she wants to die. The women try to persuade her to come with them, and she just wants to die. Some men arrive. A young journalist among them, and they, too, try to comfort her. At last they decided at least to take the knife from her. They open her bag and take the knife out of it. The journalist wants to take it and throw it away.
This very moment our 'genious' soldiers jump on him, as though they had found a treasure. They handcuff him in a second and put him in the patrol vehicle. The woman drops fainting on the ground. We start shouting and explaining to the Border Guard militaries what had really happenned here. 'Get out of here and do your job', they shout. One of them pushes Netanya rudely. They pull the woman too into their vehicle, and drive to the police station. People are in complete shock, and I start phonning. I consult with Hana BR"G. Alon, the ombudsman officer of the Civil Administration, promises me to talk with the army and find out what had happenned. Everyone asks us to release the young man at any price, and the woman too, of course. So we drove quickly to the police station to tell them what we saw. The policeman says that they know that the woman had no intention to hurt the soldiers, but they have to investigate. I insist that the woman is depressed and the young man was handcuffed and taken to the investigation without any fault.
It seems that the policeman understants the absurdity of what happenned, and that there was an extrapolation of a non-event. We had to leave in hope that someone will have some necessary wisdom.
We were happy to hear that the man was released two hours later, and the woman was handed to the treatment of the Palestinian authorities.
This time it ended well. Who knows what would have happenned had we not been there to witness it all, and had we not called the authorities. Some brains are needed. Such a rare thing...
photos of the event here