Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Susiya
Summer days during winter are the loveliest days of the year – and the landscape is green everywhere – the grazing will be good this year.
We drove to Khirbet Tuwani and Susya to coordinate the visit of the Hatzeva pre-army program on Sunday, March 6. Anemones and tulips are blooming. They were happy to see us. The children aren’t in school. Palestinian Authority teachers have been on strike for two weeks.
Highway 317 – the number of buildings in the illegal outpost of Asahel has doubled (where Yokedet, from “Eretz Nehederet,” lives).
Highway 356 – All the barriers have been removed except for the one southeast of Bani Na’im.
The logic of retaining the barrier seems to be the fact that there’s a pillbox beside it. So people don’t come near the soldiers or the Pnei Haver settlement (the pillbox is at the junction). No one cares about the Palestinians’ freedom of movement.
Work proceeding apace on renovating the Pharmacy checkpoint and the Curve 160 checkpoint.
At the Pharmacy checkpoint it looks like they’re planning to lay sewer pipes and water pipes because of the flooding there. (Only last week we saw the adjacent parking lot flooded)
At the Curve 160 checkpoint, I couldn’t see what they were doing because when we arrived Border Police soldiers asked us to leave – they were busy dispersing people who threw stones – eight year old children.
Later the Border Policemen detained two older youths and quickly released them.
At Beit Ha’meriva we run into two soldiers, one the unit’s dog handler and another who completes his military service in five days. He asks us what we think of Arabs…he doesn’t agree with what we say, that they’re all human beings…and he smiles and says, I’m not allowed to express political opinions…the entire checkpoint is decorated with Israeli flags.
A new checkpoint has been erected on Shuhadeh Street, opposed Beit Hadasssah, and the stairs up to the Cordova School have been blocked by a gate.
At Gross Plaza we run into the “Jerusalem pre-army program,” on a tour with Breaking the Silence. This is their first tour following a period during which they weren’t allowed to enter the city.
They don’t go up to Tel Rumeida which is still a closed military area, entry permitted only to residents (we were allowed in).
In sum – the occupation routine continues and keeps making an effort to improve.