Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Sun 7.9.08, Morning

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Lea Sh., Paula R. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

07:00 – 11:15  (Palestinian time: 06:00 – 10:15)
This is a fortified existing checking point. Now the people have to line up behind a red line (to differentiate from the yellow line that forbids the residents to drive in their city) and wait till the soldier will let one through the barriers to be checked with gang humor by another soldier (see photo on the left). This is the experience the little children on their first days to first grade will have imprinted in their souls: the rough searching through their innocent belongings, the mean handling. This is the experience the residents go through on the first days of the Ramadan fast: Ramadan Karim.

The pictures on the right catch the 15 year old boy who is detained and has to sit on the earth because he has no ID. He looks older than his age and it does not help that his father pleads and tries to explain that he is a boy on his way to school: “Go away! Roch min Hon!” yells the soldier; the pictures catch the old man (he carries as a talisman the piece of an old newspaper that proves that his family shielded Jews in Hebron in time of war). He is complaining before the soldiers that a settler spit on him. No one listens, they just push him away. He is baffled: “Are they Jews?” I missed a picture of the boy who had to go back because he was denied to ride his bicycle.
So much for lifting for “further easing of restrictions”.  The response of the Brigade Commander: “There were ‘hot alerts’.

Route 60

On an invitation of Head of a Welfare Organization in Baney Naim, whom Lea met during an international conference, we visited the town of 25000 inhabitants. He showed us the blocked road to Yatta and Hebron, to protect the vineyard of Livni (the convicted Jewish terrorist) at the outskirts of the town. We entered by the road of Bnei Hever, the one that was blocked until not long ago. It is now open (and we hope it will remain so) at the demand of an American company who carries out work on a water installation. Because of the blockades and many CPs, women had difficulties arriving at hospitals to give birth. Now, an obstetric department has been built in the town. As the saying goes: “What does not kill you, strengthens you”. He took us to the charity center, where there is a pre-school for 300 children, a clinic, physiotherapy facilities, a center for blind people, etc. We hope that time will come that we won’t have to sneak in the town under the watching pillbox to wonder at the resilience of the population.