Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Sun 10.8.08, Morning
6 :45 Meitar CP
A lot of vehicles waiting in the parking lot on the Israeli side and on the Palestinian side a queue fills the shed and reaches round it to the peddler stands at the back. There were certainly over 100 men in it. Shortly after we arrived some movement was observed and then the passage through the CP began to become smoother –taking some 30 minutes from the entry into the sleeve till the exit from the CP. At 7:15 the queue had come to an end and only a small group of men were still in the sleeve.
The workers we met at the exit of the CP disagreed among themselves about the number of checking machines which were being used, but some of them complained about the machine in room number 2 . Two men with heart conditions said they had chest pains after going through this machine – adding that the machine in the first room they have to enter causes them no problems. A man who goes through every day said later that sometimes when he shows the documents proving he has a heart bypass he is allowed not to enter room no 2 and sometimes he is told by the checker “I don't care” and made to go in. His fear of the machine was palpable.
We also heard several complaints about the return from work on Thursday evenings. The Palestinians reported that the pressure is unreasonably heavy then, there is a long wait, and that the checkers are sometimes violent – even kicking the workers waiting to go through
The roadblocks at Dahariya , Abda and Dir Razek are still in place. At Abda and Dir Razek there are meter-high earthen barriers across the road.
Dura–el Fawwar and Sheep’s Crossing were open.
The town seems deserted. The illegal open-air synagogue opposite the exit from Kiryat Arba is full of worshippers whose cars are parked nearby. Most of the shops along the street were closed- in honor of the fast of Ninth of Ab?? At the bottom of the turn towards the Patriarchs’ tombs a police jeep was standing. The officer stopped us politely, explained that today was a sensitive date and he therefore asked us not to drive up the hill to Tel Romeida. We promised not to and in return he allowed us to continue on our usual route: the Pharmacy CP, Shuhada street and the market, Tarpat CP and the Patriarchs’ tombs- there was no one to be seen except for the soldiers at their usual posts. There was no traffic except for a few military and police jeeps.
Detainees at Shuyukh-Hebron : a MP jeep stood on the Hebron side and seven young men were standing by it. Shortly after we stopped the Druze officer spoke to us pleasantly and almost immediately four of the youths received their IDs back. On our return journey some 30 minutes later none of the 7 were left but another three had been detained were waiting for their IDs to be checked. Older men were not detained.
The Humanitarian Gate was closed. The Halhul-Hebron bridge was open in both directions.