Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Tue 6.5.08, Morning
06:30 - 11:00
Israel’s Defense Minister – dear Mr. Barak – you make empty, meaningless promises!! You spoke of easements and the removal of obstacles, earth mounds, concrete blocks – everything in order to ease life in the areas of the West Bank, and so:
In Judea up to East Halhul Junction – on Routes 317, 356, 60, 35, the Daharia - Tene road – not even a pile of earth has been removed. Obstacles, concrete blocks and iron gates have been added.
In the ups and downs between human rights and security – each obstacle that you add reduces security and augments hatred and violence. And you are personally responsible, from my viewpoint, for the fact that the GOC’s proclamation of a closed military area was activated against us in the area of the Tomb of the Patriarchs. You allow local discretion to commanders and do not apply balanced, long term and responsible policy. We make provocation – you are responsible that, despite the terrible verbal violence used against us by Itamar Ben Gvir and Ofer Ohanna, the policemen did not protect us and produced against us the "closed military area" order. You are responsible for the awful symbiosis between all the security forces in the area and the settlers. You are responsible for the violation of Palestinian human rights in this area – you are responsible for the separation policy in Hebron, the policy that always adds rights to the settlers and reduces those of the Palestinians – and this in your opinion is the correct way to fight terror, or this is the tried route to preserving terror as a factor of stability in the area!!!???
The gap between the declarations and their implementation on the ground only arouses more frustration and lack of trust. We heard today a few stories of Palestinians who are beaten regularly, particularly on festivals and occasions that are special ton the Jews and to the State of Israel.
On Independence Day, youth from Kiriat Arba are planning an Independence Parade on the Shuhada Street that is abandoned by the Palestinians – is that Independence, or is it plundering the "poor man’s lamb"? We did not come to an empty land, and it is not empty, and we were all created in the image... But when this is forgotten and the lives and dignity of Arabs are of no importance, then Zionism and Independence have beeen deprived of their moral significance, their humanitarian value.
What will be the end of us?
Sansana – closure
Tarqumiya – closure
Nazlin – closure, North Bani Naim – a new iron gate. Everywhere else – Sheep Junction (see photo below), Shuyukh, Dura al-Fawwar, Pene Hever – all as usual, no obstacles removed.
Al Jura Humanitarian Checkpoint – a Border Police jeep
On the turn to Hebron from Route 35 – a military jeep. At each concrete obstacle on the road, and there are many, it is possible to see posters from South Hebron Hills Council and other settler organisations, inviting all to celebrate Independence Day – let’s go out to the wide open spaces, that’s the slogan – 40 years of settlement in Judea and Samaria (see photo above).
At Pharmacy Checkpoint – one detainee, already a long time. Military Policewomen operation the magnometer and everyone passes through their baggage, removes their belt, takes off watches – people are used to it.
Tarpat Checkpoint – passing quickly – no policewomen.
Disputed House – no one is passing.
Next to Habad Cemetery – soldiers again entered the roof of the four storey building: we meet a few Palestinians who tell us how they were beaten at Passover, and about the puncturing of tires on the Saturday night of Passover in Abu Snan neighborhood: we gave them the phone number of Yesh Din.
Tel Rumeida – one detainee, as we arrive they give him back his ID.
Prayers’ Road – the woman who cannot directly enter her house during the days of Passover, but must go from behind, says that now there are no problems.
Tomb of the Patriarchs Checkpoints – no detainees.
On our way from Tarpat Checkpoint to the Tomb of the Patriarchs below, facing Beit Hadassah, a settler woman in a car blocks our way and will not let us pass: it does not matter to her that her roughly three year old son sits in the car and learns from his mother what violence is all about. When another settler woman comes and asks her why she doesn’t drive away, and shows her the MachsomWatch placard in our Transit, she nods her head in agreement. At that moment a police cruiser passes, and is also stuck. The settler woman hastens to move so that the police can pass. That is perhaps the reason why, when we reach the Tomb of the Patriarchs, Itamar Ben Gvir and Ofer Ohanna are already waiting for us with a camera and shouts of "traitors, collaborators, inciters to terror" and crowd us, not even letting us breathe. The police do nothing – "You want, submit a complaint" – and in any case there is a closed military area order: left wing activists cannot be here. When I insist on my rights, and don’t want to leave, saying that a closed military area can only be activated by a written document signed by the commanding general, the commander of Hebron Police comes down with the said piece of paper and shows it to us. When I ask why the area is closed militarily only to us, he says that we make provocations, the settlers are allowed to be there because this is their permanent address in their ID cards. It becomes clear that the signed military area order was left in the hands of Hebron Police after a visit by the anarchists, and the police in the station were given the authority to use it as they see fit, whenever they see fit.
We are convinced that had a bus come with Jews to pray at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the general’s order would not have been produced. We will need now considerable patience to continue maintaining regular shifts – and Itamar Ben Gvir and Ofer Ohanna with their symbiosis
with Hebron Police and the police at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, will not succeed in blocking our steps and driving us away. Our permanent presence, and not the one time visit by left wing activists, is what gives strength to the Palestinians.[L]