Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills
Heavy traffic this morning on Highway 60.
At 9:30 the Meitar checkpoint is empty.
All the laborers and merchants already went through.
The new neighborhood at Sham’a is built like a fortress.
Teachers are on strike today, a labor dispute with the Palestinian Authority; many children are wandering everywhere.
Hazon David, the improvised synagogue, has been re-erected in a large white tent on land stolen from a Palestinian family. It has already been demolished more than once by court order and has nevertheless been rebuilt and there’s again an emplacement manned by soldiers beside it.
A squad of soldiers comes down from Beit Hameriva to patrol the Zion route.
At Curve 160 the bloodstains have been erased of the 15 year old girl who was shot to death there two days ago. Now concertina wire surrounds the emplacement.
A large group of pilgrims from Malaysia exits the Cave of the Patriarchs, through the entrance for Moslems, of course.
Our friends near the Cave of the Patriarchs again recount the horror that included overturning the wheelchair of a legless handicapped person and the beating of family members by Border Police soldiers. Their only sin was trying to approach the bloody body of their relative next to the building settlers had taken over. A booth with soldiers has been erected at the head of Shuhadah Street. They also tell us about yesterday night when soldiers entered and conducted a search. And about R., who lives opposite that house and was ordered to shut all his shops (the story and photographs appear in my previous report), which he’d been allowed to open only this past Ramadan, and is now in a Palestinian jail in Jericho. They say they don’t know why he was arrested, and don’t want to suggest a reason without knowing. We can only surmise that it’s somehow connected to cooperation among the security services…
One hundred yards away, next to the turn to the Avraham Avinu neighborhood, there’s again a manned emplacement.
Next to the Tarpa”t checkpoint [Hasam Hashoter]Kfir brigade soldiers detain us. “You’re not allowed up to Tel Rumeida,” they say, “Now wait until the officer arrives. He’ll check you and decide.” The soldier, a Druze, addresses M. also in Arabic.
“Who are you, where are you from,” they ask.
They seem stressed and confused.
So we explained that for the past ten years we’ve always driven up to Tel Rumeida, and except in exceptional circumstances we’ve always been allowed through. Even two weeks ago Giv’ati soldiers didn’t interfere with us. Now we’re not letting you, replies a second soldiers.
You’re creating the problems, I tell him. If this is how you treat us, Israeli citizens, I can only imagine how you behave toward the Palestinians. It’s obvious how unfortunate they are.
Sure, they’re really unfortunate, the soldier replies scornfully.
“OK, let them, let them go,” his colleague yells from the emplacement.
So we drove away.
Why did it happen? The soldiers’ own idea? Taking the initiative? Or simply fear and the lack of clear instructions.
Why knows…that’s how things are here.
The concrete blocks installed on the Zion route at the turn to the police station are still there.
As we drive back along Highway 60 we see military jeeps parked at the Bani Na’im junction. Soldiers at Kvasim junction are stopping and inspecting people.