Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tue 16.12.08, Morning
6:40: the last workers are in the checking lane.
Thirty two trucks standing on the Israeli side. The CP is deserted and apart from one passenger, let off of an Arab-Israeli car, no people or cars are being checked.
There is no traffic at all when pass there, a few children walk along the roadside towards school; all blockages are in place.
Below Otniel – the yellow gate is open; Dahariya – blocked; Samo'a – open; Abeda – open; Karame – closed; Dura el Fawar – open, pillbox manned; Bnei Naim – closed; the Sheep's crossing – open, pillbox manned; Dir Razek – blocked; Kligalis – blocked.
A story from Hebron, concerning the settler Anat Cohen and her associates:
On our way back from the Tel-Rumeydah and Tarpat CPs, we see the soldier standing alone at the post just opposite Beit Hadasah, shouting at a detainee, a Palestinian boy about 16yrs old. We stop immediately and address the soldier. It turns out that the boy gestured at the soldier, thus provoking him – so although the boy's ID care is already in the soldier's hands, he continues to challenge the boy and is blatantly aggressive towards him. About 30m away from us, TIP policemen are watching the events – they are not allowed to intervene. Other peace organizations are not allowed within the H2 area, by orders from the GOC Southern Command. Not even five minutes pass, when the boy's father arrives to vouch for him.
At the same time, Anat Cohen approaches our transit [car]: she presses her face against our driver (A)'s window, and curses him effusively – especially racist and vulgar curses those were. We jointly decide to ignore her and continue our drive, but she forcefully hits the car – I thought stones were thrown at us again.
We drove on, stopping at Basem's grocery. Basem prepared for us a list of the people who were damaged by the settlers' pogroms – the state of Israel has determined to compensate them for those damages and they require help to do so. The boys who works with us suddenly intervenes, saying "Anat Cohen approaches, and she has a knife, she will puncture your wheels."
Stepping out immediately, we saw Anat Cohen calling the police: she claims that we have harassed the soldier (the one, positioned next to Beit-Hadasah) and will not let us drive away now. She clings on to our car and curses liberally. About ten minutes later, a patrol car from the Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave police station arrives and the policemen contend that they must formally open an investigation (they desperately want this investigation to be launched, as they are keen on us filing a complaint against Anat Cohen), they ask us to mount the patrol car and go with them – we refuse to leave our driver, A., behind, so we follow them, back to Beit Hadasah, to bring the soldier who complained against us: we interrupted his activity and harassed him – this is the essence of his complaint.
It takes time, and meanwhile we wait next to the police station at the Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave, being subjected to a routine photo session of Ofer Ohana's, then the routine barge of curses arrives, too, although this time, it's somewhat less vulgar.
Additionally, we now talk to the soldier who filed the complaint against us and we realize that, to his mind, a 16yrs old boy who becomes annoyed by the fact that he is detained three times in a row, merely walking from home to his workplace, should definitely be suspected for having determined to attack Beit-Hadasah, as is confirmed by history.
We all drive on to the police station on top of the Patriarchs' Hill – Ye'ela and I in the transit with A, and the soldier M., in the police van. During our testimonies, it transpired that it was at Anat Cohen's suggestion that he filed his complaint against us; so the complaint is dropped for lack of criminal culpability: we may talk to soldiers without being accused of harassment. But an investigation will be held against Anat Cohen, to which purpose we will have to return, for testimony. The whole story took us about three hours.
The House of Dispute: A squad of soldiers from the border-police guards the house from the direction of the road's entry. Another squad is positioned next to the CP that used to be up top. Along the road, and around the house, curly wires are spread out. The girls walk to school via the House of Dispure but the stairs which climb uphill have been demolished by the settlers – the girls walk alone, with no adult escort.
The pharmacy CP – the children's school bags are no longer examined, and they pass through swiftly with no problems.
Tarpat CP – the teachers pass through without being checked through the gateway – school bags are not being examined.
Tel Rumeydah CP -- the soldiers' booth (boudke) is now covered with plastic sheets – no checks performed. Pharmacy CPs – at the passage restricted to Palestinians only, road works are being performed, luckily there is no mud – and no detainees.
At Tel Rumeidah, uphill, next to the HABAD cemetery, we see the burnt Palestinian cars – right in front of the soldiers, who man the pillbox 24hrs a day – but perhaps they don't mind.
Hebron is gloomy and harsh – there are almost no people around and the settlers cheek (hutzpah) simply soars to the skies!
And I said nothing of the despair yet….