Sansana (Meitar Crossing), a-Tuwani, South Hebron Hills, Susiya
We set out after the workers dispersed for their work in Israel. The parking lot of Metar Crossing (Sansana) is full of cars. Somehow pleasing, after yesterday's curfew – because of the holidays in Israel.
Immediately after the CP there is an enormous signpost: "Yatir district tourism" and a booth manned by two young people – to draw the attention of the passers by. (another scheme to interest people in the settlement project)?
We turned in the direction of Susya and Tuwani.
We met Jum'a who invited us for tea and showed us proudly the refurbished ruin attached to his house – in which he was born, and after he had "bought" for the rest of his brothers other plots, achieved the right to stay in it and decided to rehabilitate the house – one room with a few tiny windows and a high rounded ceiling (a photo is attached).
A few minutes later Nasser from Tawani, and Nasser from Sussya with his brother in law appeared. (The brother in law is the husband of Fatma who, together with their son Hamudi is on a tour in Washington, on the success of which they reported a bit). They sat with us to tell us about their fear from the anticipated visits of the settlers, both at Ziff and a the Palestinian Caramel – the memory of last year's "visit" accompanied by the army, at the pool near Caramel and the removal of the Palestinians until the settlers finished bathing – is still deeply engraved in their minds. They wanted us to stay and to accompany them today on a tour at the south of the Hebron mount. I told Nasser Nawaja that had he informed us beforehand about this we may have been able to organize our tour differently and could then have accompanied them.
We agreed that they would keep us informed from now on. Today (30.9) I phoned Nasser who informed me that all in all everything went smoothly except for a 10 year old boy who was arrested under the pretext that he had thrown stones, was taken away in a jeep and released half an hour later.
The people of Tuwani are proud that their struggle was successful, they managed to build houses near the caves where they had lived, there is flowing water and electricity, small orchards and even a beautiful kindergarten at the entrance to the community which looks conforming to standard even in Israeli terms. It turned out that it was closed, owing to budgetary problems of the authority/local council.
The water arrives from a Mekorot building at the entrance to the village, to which all the residents of the neighbourhood who are not connected to the water supply, arrive to get their water. Jum'a told us that he pays 5 shekel for a cubic meter of water, but that there is water all the time (he collects the water in a well near his house, so that he has water perpetually).
We drove through zif. At the CP at the bottom of Beit Hagay there are no soldiers and the passage is free.
We noticed all along the roads an increased movement of the army and of locals too.
We again were moved to see that the signposts directing to Palestinian villages were in three languages: Hebrew, Arabic and English.