Hebron, Sansana, Sun 18.11.07, Morning
06:30 – 10:00AM
Although some 80 people lined up outside the entrance, the pace of inspection seemed reasonable. Still, it took around an hour for a person to cross, and it could have been quicker, had the two posts been manned by more than just two soldiers. People talked to us about their grievances (knowing how little we could do). We were asked to do something in order to bring the bus station nearer to the CP, so that they will not have to go far to the nearest one at the entrance to Meitar, especially now as winter is approaching. Another man asked our intervention for lifting the barrier at Tene Omarim that prolongs the way to the CP from five minutes to an hour. For the attention of the authorities who keep promising easing the restrictions on free movement in the West Bank! A man came over to us and asked our advice; he has to pay high driving fines. He is willing to pay but the sums are too high. If he argues with the authorities, will he not be deprived of his working license? We referred him to a reliable lawyer.
08:00 – At the CP to Tel-Rumeida, two soldiers, one of them openly hostile toward us too, examined and reexamined the passports of two international volunteers. Their constant presence clearly annoys the soldiers. (Two weeks ago, David, an ISMnik, was hand cuffed, eye folded and cruelly beaten up by the soldiers for showing his passport but unwilling to hand it over). Anyhow, we did not linger there for the volunteer told us that at the Tarpat CP the teachers are not allowed to pass through the side wicket, but only through the magnometer installation, in violation to a long established arrangement. Why? According to the military, this is a response to an incident that occurred two weeks ago, when a 17 year old girl was caught with a knife. But the volunteers told us that it is probably a reaction to speeches held at the festive reopening of the renovated Cordoba school (that settlers tried to set on fire on Sukoth). The teachers refused to enter through the installation, and Tarek of the DCO worked out a compromise, that they be searched by a female soldier. As no female soldier arrived, they were finally let through the wicket around 9 o’clock. A totally unnecessary confrontation. (No wonder that officer Tarek of the DCO was frustrated).
Then we went to see with our own eyes the road to the Harseena Hill neighborhood. No vehicle is allowed to ride on this road. The few settler inhabitants can arrive through Kiryat Arba, but the Palestinian population has to go on foot, through any weather, on any condition. This is the rule. The Palestinian-Israeli coexistence is manifested at the nearby Palestinian garages where Israelis bring their vehicles.