Dura-Al Fawwar Junction, Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills
We left at 7 on a rainy and very cold morning.
The Sansana crossing’s parking lot is filled with cars. Sun, rain…you have to earn a living…so they go to work.
Heavy traffic all along Highway 60 to Hebron. The junctions are open. Children by the side of the road at the Al-Fawwar junction. Apparently UNRWA’s schools are open; they don’t have a winter break like the schools in the Palestinian Authority. We see no military presence.
The southern entrance to Hebron is also open, there’s truck traffic and the “balloon” is overhead. An army jeep parks on the side.
Fog covers the road as you approach Hebron-Kiryat Arba, and a police jeep next to the hitchhiking station keeps an eye on things. Farther along we see a large cloth banner. It turns out that Rami Kleinstein will perform in the Kirya.
Military vehicles in Hebron, in the alleys and the crossings. The Curve 160 checkpoint has an additional new IDF booth. There’s additional military presence in the area of the market, on Shuhada Street, even though it’s been deserted for years!
The Policeman’s Checkpoint is being rebuilt but there’s now only a pedestrian crossing, which makes it harder for the residents, and an announcement about the crossing, but only in Hebrew. The man with the donkey who used to bring milk to sell on the other side is no longer allowed to go through – the donkey isn’t a “pedestrian”…
The archaeological excavations at Tel Rumeida have spread in every direction and now include the area which the Palestinian residents who still live near there used to use as a detour. During Jordanian times British archaeologists excavated there and found the remains of a wall. Today the residents make a longer detour. No consideration is given to whether it’s convenient for them.
We met A., a member of the Abu Heikal family. They sued in an Israeli court to have returned to them a plot of land next to their home which they’d leased many years ago. A few years ago, without their knowledge, it had been leased to settlers, and for two years, because they hadn’t known, they continued to pay rent. The Civil Administration profited doubly.
The disputed plot, which has in the interim become part of the archaeological dig, is before the court. The family is represented by an inexperienced local attorney, and they say the Civil Administration and the settlers are represented by two very skilled lawyers. They have a feeling things are going against them and all is lost. The judge is focusing on why they didn’t obtain a lease document from the absent owner [It’s a complicated case of ownership that had changed hands and had apparently originally had belonged to Rabbi Bizau, the Chief Rabbi of Hebron before the 1929 pogrom – Haim Hanegbi’s grandfather], and didn’t publish an objection to the excavation in the Hebrew press [??!!]. The person we spoke to said they carried out that formal act years ago in an Arab newpaper, in their language.
We exchanged telephone numbers so we could stay in touch, and may be able to help a little.