Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Sun 10.2.08, Morning
Meitar (Sansana) CP
7:00AM. About 200 people waiting at the roadblock. There doesn't seem to be any movement. In response to our inquiry, some of the people say they've been waiting for 20 minutes and some say an hour and a half.
7:03AM, miraculously the queue begins to move; people enter in large groups of about 30 people each time. Within 25 minutes, the roadblock is clear.
The workers complain that they cannot pass work tools through the roadblock. Later, Leah asks the roadblock commander, and he says that according to their rules, the workers were supposed to pass the tools during the first month of the civil operation of the roadblock and leave them in Israel – i.e. to rely on the employer. It's a problematic arrangement.
One person is required to leave behind a plastic bottle with olive oil. We calculated that if the guy is an unskilled worker, he gets less than 10NIS an hour – The cost of taking a ride down to the roadblock + the cost of the oil he left behind, makes his work day unprofitable up to finishing at a loss.
Two other people are turned around because they don't have a permit.
The voice of the security inspector inside the facility can be heard all over the area – unpleasant and degrading.
7:35AM – Soldiers open the side gate beside the revolving gate to go buy Falafel. As a result, the first revolving gate stops working and one worker stays trapped inside – waiting. Leah shouts –" The employer will leave the worker behind! Let him pass! He will lose a day of work because of your Falafel!"
Without a word, the soldiers get out of the passage and close the gate. The revolving gate is released and the worker passes through.
Two other people tell us that their licenses have been taken without any explanation, and that they've been ordered to go to the GSS (General Security Services) to retrieve their licenses. One of them has been at the GSS offices 3 times already and has yet to get his license back. We promised to check it out.
The workers tell us that the bypass road to Ramadin was closed about a week ago, and that taxis are prohibited from getting near. They get to the roadblock by foot through the mountains. We drive down there to see, and it is indeed so – huge dirt and stone bodies are blocking a wide road.
Sheep Junction – We stop to talk to taxi drivers. They tell us that IDF soldiers break the windows of their vehicles if they dare get too close to the barricade (which is made of dirt and stone and is impossible to pass through by taxi). Another original form of punishment is to sit the drivers down in the mud with their eyes covered.
The drivers withdraw about 20 meters from the barricade.
We also met the head of the village Khalit Al Dav Aria. The village has a population of 5,000 people, and has 3 schools. He tells us about a graffiti in Arabic that was sprayed on an electric utility box which read: "Mohammad is an offspring of a pig". One of the drivers shows us a picture he took of the graffiti on his mobile phone. To be absolutely clear – the word pig was misspelled in English "big". They think soldiers wrote it. Someone from the DCO erased it.
Another person, a member of "Fatah", tells us that he was beaten up by soldiers a couple of weeks ago, and that they wrote on his membership card that he must come down to the DCO on January 3rd. He was afraid to go and asked us to check how he can file a complaint against the soldiers.
Exhausted and disturbed, we decided to skip Hebron and go home.