Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Susiya

Observers: 
Leah Shakdiel, Yael Agmon (reporting); Translator: Charles K.
23/08/2015
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Morning

05:09  We leave Meitar junction for the Meitar checkpoint.

05:18  Hundreds of Palestinian workers are already on the Israeli side, and dozens of vehicles.

The pen on the Palestinian side is empty and the workers arriving in a hurry enter immediately, the revolving gate never stops turning, the only line, not very long, is at the inspection booths; there are four of them, all open.

05:25  Lines begin forming, people start getting restless.  A man older than 55, without a permit, was turned back.  He’ll be able to enter at 7.

05:35  Many workers arrive but the congestion eases, and again increases, the rate of people crossing remains stable and relatively rapid, the revolving gate doesn’t stop, there are times when there’s a line in the lanes in the pen which continually moves forward.

05:53  A worker returns because his transportation to the Dimona area left without him.  Three more were turned back; their permits hadn’t yet arrived.

06:00  The revolving gate closes.  It’s not clear why because there are no lines within.  The lanes in the pen fill rapidly.

06:03  A security worker arrived hurriedly and opened a different revolving gate; the first must have jammed.  I asked how he noticed the breakdown; he pointed to the camerainfo-icon.  He said 6000-7000 people cross here, there are four inspection booths that open at 04:00.  Since crossing here goes quickly few arrive before 05:00 and the pressure starts at 05:30.  I complimented him for permitting the workers to get a few more hours of sleep and said it’s too bad Tarqumiyya doesn’t learn from them.

06:16  The pen is full, the line is moving, the revolving gatesinfo-icon remain open, about 16 older people wait near us off to the side for 7 o’clock when they may cross.

06:24  The pen is empty, people continue to arrive in a constant flow and immediately join the lines inside, which also grow shorter.

06:30  We head to Hebron to find out whether the school year has begun.

06:38  A new neighborhood is being energetically constructed at Sham’a.

New tri-lingual signs to the Palestinian localities have been erected along Highway 60.

06:54  A field of thistles was burned near Beit Haggai.

07:04  A-Shuyukh junction is open in all directions; no soldiers.

 

We go through Kiryat Arba and come to Hebron.  The Hazon David synagogue has been moved across the road adjoining Kiryat Arba.  The Palestinian’s land is clear, no sign of the synagogue or its rubble, a police vehicle and a military vehicle are parked there, apparently to ensure it’s not rebuilt.  We wonder when the landowners will again be allowed to cultivate their plots.

 

07:45  A soldier sits “on guard” opposite Beit Hadassah, a settler beside him playing a clarinet – a perfect symbiosis.  Later on, on the way up to Hasam Hashoter a second lieutenant will stop us.  Apparently he’s the soldier’s commander; he’ll ask us what we’re up to.  We told him we’re a Machsom Watch shift.  He’s never seen us before, he’s been here two weeks, Leah mentions the clarinet player, he says the man apparently suffers from psychological problems.  We suggest we come to present our point of view to the soldiers.  Unfortunately, he politely refused.

 

School hasn’t yet begun in Hebron.

 

On our way back we stopped at Susya to give the English books we’d promised to the school principal.

Construction continues of a new neighborhood in Ma’on, toward the road.

Construction is starting in Susya in the area of the sewage ponds.

Three mobile homes have been added at Asahael.

 

08:54  A large industrial building under construction on the land of the Meitarim local council.

 

09:00  The Israeli side of the Meitar checkpoint is empty, empty and filthy.