Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing)
We left Shokat junction for the Meitar border crossing. Shlomit Tamari, our colleague, told me this week that the checkpoint will soon begin to pay municipal taxes to the Meitar local council. What about the Palestinian portion of the crossing – to whom will it pay taxes?
05:48 The cage is crowded, people are pushing even though they’re going through very quickly. Quite a few laborers watch the confusion with us, including one who’s not very healthy; he says that if he tried to push his way in he’d have a heart attack. He was discharged just this week from hospital in Hebron. We timed how long it took from the cage entrance to the revolving gates – 15 minutes. The international observers told us it had taken half an hour early this morning, and that’s only part of the process. The checkpoint had opened at 04:00; 4,174 people had crossed by 06:09.
06:15 There was a very long line at the entrance to the cage, much longer than we’d usually seen. We came because the school year opens today in the Palestinian Authority. One of the stands’ owners stops us on our way to the car, tells us that at 17:30 last Wednesday representatives of the Civil Authority came, confiscated the merchandise from all the stands and burned them down. He didn’t remember the man’s name – perhaps Adnan – nor did the representatives present any authorization for their action.
He’d been summoned to the Shabak on 24.8.14; he showed us the piece of paper. We referred him to Sylvia.
06:28 On to Hebron. We see two military vehicles on Highway 60; the southern entrance to Hebron is open, with no soldiers present.
We’re not stopped for inspection at the entrance to the Cave of the Patriarchs compound. They look bored. We started up toward Tel Rumeida. Adults and children are gathered at the junction of Kdoshei Tarpat/Tzomet HaShoter. The building at the crossing has been burned. We’re told that on Friday a Palestinian came with a box which the soldiers helped him bring through. Another Palestinian arrived at the same time and set the building on fire. Now the checkpoint (which is also a crossing) is blocked. The soldiers send whoever wishes to cross to Palestinian Hebron to the checkpoint up on Tel Rumeida; they argue to no avail. The soldiers might have the key to the adjoining gate but it’s a chance to punish people. The checkpoint commander is calm, speaks calmly with people, the soldier is the opposite, crude and nervous. We, like the children, climbed the hill, saw they’re not continuing to the next checkpoint but, as children do, enter one of the courtyards and jump from one building to another, then on to school – which turns the security check into a security joke.
On our way down we saw Baruch Marzel coming to shake hands with the soldiers, kid around with them – a very unhealthy connection between the settlers and the soldiers.
On our way back, going down to the Worshippers route, we see the corner building has been taken over by the army; there are six soldiers on the roof.
A soldier stands with weapon drawn at the hitchhiking station at the exit from Kiryat Arba.
Ma’on is being expanded, as is Susya.
King David street (HaShuhadeh), opposite the wholesale market, above Gross plaza: An IDF checkpoint is concealed behind a settlers’ protest tent, amid posters: We won’t allow terrorist snipers to station themselves above us; a Hamas firing position is being erected nearby under UNWRA auspices; don’t give UN positions to the terrorists.