Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Sun 3.2.08, Morning
Meitar -Sansana CP
On the Israeli side some way away from the car park with the waiting transit vans, we saw a lot of workers waiting for transportation. They stood in small groups around fires because of the cold.
At the terminal on the Palestinian side there was a long queue (about 200 men) but it was very orderly and advanced at a reasonable speed. The Palestinians complained that the CP had opened late but a security man called Zacky said the terminal opens on Sundays at 4:00 am (because of the pressure) instead of 4:30 and it had done so this morning. We measured the time it took to move from the entrance to the turnstile to the exit on the Israeli side – it took 15 minutes. Zacky said that usually some 800 men pass through. While we were present new van-loads of men kept on arriving and joined the queue.
Dura-al Fawwar , Sheep's Crossing: No soldiers on the ground – the crossings are open as usual.
Shiyuch- Hebron: an army jeep was stationed on the Shiyukh side and the soldiers had got out of it –but they were merely enjoying the sun and were not checking anyone – neither pedestrians nor a lone motorbike rider who crossed route 60.
On the way to Hebron we saw snow piled up at the side of the road and expanses of it covering the fields and vineyards.
We got there at 7:40. No setainees were observed at any of the usual CPs (Pharmacy, Tarpat, Tel Romeida, Patriarchs' Cave). At Tel Romeida a peace volunteer told us that there had been no problems there today before we arrived. Owing to the ice on the road the steep descent from Tel Romeida to Tarpat CP was dangerous but the kids walking down it managed not to slip.
We drove to the end of the apartheid road next to the BP base. There the road is blocked by a tall steel gate and a fence which continues along the road and leaves only a narrow path for pedestrians to use on the side of the road furthers from the settlers' houses. On the left side of the path there are rocks and on the right the high fence which "protects" the three Jewish houses. The path was full of the remains of snow , ice, mud and puddles. We saw an elderly Palestinian woman wearing a long dress and carrying a shopping basket walking along this path and trying in vain not to dirty the hem of her dress. Granted that this path is only some 150 meters long –at its end the road opens again and Palestinian vehicles can drive there towards H1 (we indeed saw a private Palestinian car parked on the road outside a Palestinian house)- but the provision of this wet and slippery path is a disgrace to Israel.