Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Sun 6.1.08, Morning

Li'at, Leah Sh (reporting)

 Meitar - Sansana CP

(07:00-07:40) The checkpoint is fully privatized, no trace of soldiers nor police officers. The first carousel is open, the line is formed all the way to the second one and flows on in reasonable pace, though we hear complains about very early arrival to get to the head of the line, and we still don't know why only two of the four checking stands are staffed and working. A security guy on top of the nearby pillbox calls occasionally to anyone strolling out of line and too close to the fence to get back in line. We passed to the Israeli side of the checkpoint. Near the passage of the Palestinian workers, 6 cages with barred windows for the dogs. One security man plays with one of those frightening dogs who is not on a leash, right by the workers on their way out towards the parking lot. Very disturbing sight. Some Palestinians pass occasionally on foot through the cars' checkpoint, these are with passage permits not for work, such as to go to the hospital.

Specific complaints:

1) Why are work tools banned? Other checkpoints allow this.

2) Someone was told not to bring coffee next time. It appears that the bag was new and unopened (not to mention cans). We advised to bring it in a simple clear plastic bag, not the original package.

3) The checkpoint is closed Saturdays, unlike other checkpoints, and contrary to declared policy.

4) On Fridays workers are told to be back by 13:30, or return through Tarqumia. Neither option is possible for them, so they end up waiting forever at the cars'checkpoint for passage  back home.

5) One Palestinian resident of Beer Sheva (says he prifited from the family reunion policy) drives every day to the Dura- El Fawar junction to bring his workers, complains that he is the only Israeli employer who does this who gets checked, including his car, including sniffing dogs, every day.

Road 60

The first 2 km are new, work on the road continues. Our driver, A., says that that Palestinian cars are no longer prevented from driving on the road, with the exception of cars trying to get on the road at blocked places (we saw one going for this option near Samo'a), accused of "tearing down the blockade". We still saw one donkey rider and one donkey and cart, in place of normal transportation.

At the junction to the left leading towards Dahariya north of Ottniel, the blocking rocks pulled apart a little, some commercial vans on both sides, A. says this is a "back to back" trade transfer point.

Shayuh, 08:15 - a military hammer jeep parked east of the road, near the blockade. On our way back, 7 min. later it is no longer there. On our way back south, near the junction of road 35, a big sign says: "Welcome to the regional council Hebron Mountains, 25 years of settlement and growth".

Back on road 317: the low concrete separation fence has been removed all the way, near Soussya all we see is the whitish line it scarred alongside the road