Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Sun 4.11.07, Morning
Sansana- Meitar CP
We arrived slightly before 7:00am. To my estimate, over 200 people crowding in queue and no progress. Workers say they are there since 3:30am and still haven't gone in.
In response to our inquiry, we were told the computers are offline, but all 4 queues are manned. The workers claim only 2 are operating. Moments after our arrival, the line begins to move quickly – 25-30 people in a matter of minutes. Apparently, at some point they decided to switch over to manual ID checking.
7.32am, the CP is empty. The difference between a 4 hour wait and a 30 minute check is simply unbelievable.
Unfortunately, several workers came right back through the CP. At this late hour, the employer sees no point in taking the workers for a day of work. Two of them are informed that the next time they are "late", they will be replaced.
In the meantime, two problems arise:
The first, of Mohammad, whose son is being treated at Rambam hospital after surgery, but despite having a permit, isn't allowed to pass with his son in a car, so his son has to wait on the other side of the CP, with Mohammad waiting with the rest of the workers.
With the help of Hagit, the issue has been passed on to the care of the hospital to take up with the Civil Administration. We hope for the best, and wish the boy well.
The second problem is of Halil, who's been detained for trying to cross into Israel on Saturday in an illegal car. His ID card and Cell phone had been taken by the border police. The phone was returned to him, but his ID couldn't be found, so he couldn't pass the manual ID check in Sansana because the computers were down. We drove down to the police HQ, and an officer named Dudu Levi found the ID card and will be in touch with tomorrow's shift who'll return the card if there aren't any problems with it.
On the one hand, we were impressed with the border policemen. After arguing with the soldiers at the Sansana CP, it was nice to have a conversation with the policemen that also led to positive results.
On the other hand, Lea noticed a dozen detainees, who were standing behind a sheet and could not be seen from the road, and was appalled at how easily people could be made to disappear. The border police said they are being fed and given shelter from the sun, and released after a short while. After a few moments they were taken away into one of the inner buildings.
Other than that, everything is as usual.
Dura-al Fawwar crossing, Sheep’s crossing, Shiukh – Hebron crossing , Sair-East Halhul, Zif Junction -all were open, Humanitarian – closed, opposite of Utniel – an open gate on a dirt road new to us.