Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, יום ג' 23.10.07, בוקר
Sansana, Hebron, Tarkumiya, Southern Hebron Hills
The Ramadim Check post has been removed. The village is no longer isolated
6:35 – No queue of workers. This was the situation yesterday. We hope that what we witnessed last Sunday won’t repeat themselves. If today and yesterday there was no line, there is hope that it is possible. The same number of workers went through to work on all three days.
On our way back, the checkpoint is deserted as usual.
Highway 60, highway 356 & 35
Children walking along the road on their way to school. It’s very dangerous. Why not make wider margins, why only for the road near the settlement of Shima? Maybe because Palestinian children don’t matter? We hear the same complaint at the grocery store at the Zif junction on highway 356. The only cars allowed to travel on this road belong to the settlers who drive extremely fast. The traffic police say that as a main road they can’t have pedestrian crossings. There is a plan to build an overpass bridge, but since it’s Palestinian children, it’s doubtful this will come out of the drawer.
All the pillboxes are manned, all the checkpoints are up. At Shayuch there is a jeep from the Givati Brigade. The soldiers just sit in the jeep and aren’t bothering the passersby. But there it is – the presence of the conqueror.
A well-dressed young man approaches us speaking Arabic. A passing taxi driver helps to translate “Look, I bought new shoes. Look how fast they get worn out walking through this dirty, stony passage.”
We arrive at 9:00. The place is almost deserted. According to the soldiers the last of the workers went through at 7 and 4 buses with families visiting prisoners passed through at 8:30. Maybe the Red Cross and the Prison Service has decided to reduce the number of buses, which will lessen the waiting time.
At the loading area, three trucks are unloading and loading merchandise back-to-back, an Israeli walks through the crossing ad waves at the soldiers at the same tie two Palestinians are waiting behind the fence for their papers to be checked.
Privatization – representatives of the Airport Authority – the terminals section in the Ministry of Defense – distribute flyers to the truck drivers explaining the new regulations at the new terminal which will open in two months. Every candidate who does this works gets 40 shekels an hour and does a special course. I don’t know the name of the private contractor.
We arrive at 7:30 and all the children are passing with incident through the check posts. (Machsom Beit Mirkahat, Tarpat, Givat Harsina) But why do they have to go through these checkpoints.
At the Cave of the Patriarchs checkpoint no one is stopped, at the Disputed House Bassam says that it’s been quiet recently, and tells us that the settlers are working tirelessly to renovate the shops. The appeal to the High Court against their presence will be heard on Nov. 11.
At Tel Rumeida we meet two nice peace activists from Australia and Sweden, who tell us: the soldiers a few minutes earlier had slapped a 15-year-old youth. The Givati soldiers at this point stop everyone and ask for ID’s (which the paratroopers never did – 50 meters further down there is a metal detector.) The boy, according to the soldier, cursed him. The soldier said “first he curses, and then brings stones, then a knife, then arms. So I have to teach him a lesson.” The soldier denied that he had slapped the kid, and the peace activists did not have a photo and then they admitted that they couldn’t really see clearly. But the story is more complicated. It turns out that the Palestinian children who curse the soldiers, especially pick out the Ethiopians and shout “nigger, nigger” at them. So in the children’s playground another “war” erupts based on racist remarks which the kids know make the Ethiopians very angry.
Yesterday 3 such children were taken to the base and beaten with rifle butts. Ibrahim our driver says the kids deserve it if they bait the soldiers in this way. We don’t think this way. An Israeli soldier is there not because he wants to, he has to control himself and not react violently. We think that this has to stop now. We informed the commander of the brigade what is going on. I think the soldiers were acting on their own. We reminded them of the behavior of the Lavi Brigade and what happened afterwards in Dahariya. We think they were listening.
We talked with the soldiers for a long time. They were from Petach Tikva, Bat Yam and Kadima. We tried to tell them imagine that on your way to school Arab soldiers would stop you with guns and helmets. How would you behave? M. from Petach Tikva said he hadn’t thought about it. L. said he didn’t care, and the 3rd just looked at the ground.