Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Thu 7.8.08, Morning
Translating to English- Revital S.
06:00 - Sansana - Meitar
There are a few people at the checkpoint and the crossing is reasonably quick. Workers are still coming and cross as soon as they arrive. The Palestinians talk of an X-ray room through which all workers must pass on Fridays. They say they'd heard it's an unhealthy procedure. Close to our departure time the first bus with visiting families arrives on its way to the prisons.
At about 08:45, on our way back via the checkpoint, the buses on the Israeli side would have already left.
There are no significant changes in the roadblocks. Some are open but generally nothing new.
Near Durah Al Fawar people are filling up water bottles and packing them on the donkey's back.
A cab driver is washing his vehicle near a water hole. Some children are helping him - pouring water over the cab and scrubbing off the dust with a broom.
The Sheep Junction
The little grey gate at the pedestrian checkpoint is shut and made to with barbed wire. The pedestrians also have to go all the way around. An elderly man is riding a donkey.
07:00 - Hebron
In the agricultural plot between Kiryat Arbah and Hebron, where a few weeks ago some youngsters put up a tent, a new tent now stands. In the Shack between Kiryat Arbah and Hebron by The Neighbourhood of the Patriarchs, Men are praying the early morning prayer.
At the makeshift bus stop by The Disputed House three 6-7 year olds are hitching a hike on their own.
At Landmark 408 stands a military jeep. The soldiers are in the vehicle.
At the entrance to Tel Rumeida the soldiers stop us saying we are forbidden to go up. A police car arrives then. After some argument with the police and once they've checked our ID cards they allow us to proceed. Then the soldier remembers again that we're not permitted to go up. The soldiers refuse to submit their details. Unfortunately at this crucial point my camera decided to call it a day and I have no documentation of what happened from this point on.
Their behaviour, towards us and the Palestinians, is extremely aggressive and unpleasant. They don't tell the people at the checkpoint to stop and come to them to show their documents, but make all sorts of noises instead - whistling and buzzing, and minimal gestures with their hands.
We allow them a few minutes to check about us but when it looks like they're not making any inquiries on their wireless we start making our way up the hill. The Golani soldiers at the bottom of the hill look cross and shout to the Border Police soldiers to stop us. At the Border Police post they check again if leftists are allowed up. After a few minutes' conversation with the soldiers we are confirmed.
As a matter of principle we go as far as the military base by the grey gate. We then mean to descend, I just ask to see the commander before we leave. I wait. A soldier at the entrance post to the base demands that I stand here and not there, there and not here. As I wait an egg is hurled at me from one of the upper stories of the building. It hits me but shatters on the floor. A lieutenant comes out and approaches me. I introduce myself and ask him to tell his soldiers that we're allowed to come up once we present our blue ID cards. From our short conversation I gather that he is not aware what is and what isn't allowed. I ask him to introduce himself. He is extremely surprised and then says his name hesitatingly. A sergeant tells him to belt up and he does. Something to the effect of - what, are you a sucker to go telling your name.
I ask him to accompany me up the stairs to see who threw the egg at me, pointing at his soldier who was witness to the event. He refuses. He is not allowed to enter houses without a warrant, he claims. I explain that it is his duty to uphold order and it has just been disrupted. But he is adamant. Must be afraid. We leave the place (I have the officer's name).
At the exit from Hebron we stop at Bassam's cobbler workshop. He tells us that the settlers started to throw their garbage by the door of the Mosque next to The Disputed House.
For lack of time we didn't stop to see for ourselves but we shall next week.