Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tarqumiya, Tue 24.3.09, Morning
Three buses of prisoners' families stand on the side, waiting. Rain pours and there are only a few workers, because agricultural workers did not arrive. Families' transfer starts at 7:00am. Almost no families are left waiting at the shed – everything seems to be taken care of, given the circumstances.
Sand trucks waiting – no goods' are being transferred due to the rain.
Rain and fog and almost no vehicles. Children walk on the sideways towards school; one military vehicle. Whatever was open, is still open – whatever was closed, is still closed.
Dura Alfawwar: traffic flows; pillbox, manned.
Manoach Mount (Har Manoach): the bulldozer cannot be seen in the parking lot – apparently, at work.
Sheep's Junction: same.
Beit Anoun – Shauyukh Hebron: No one passing through, and no military vehicle either. Blockages in place.
Pillboxes are manned, blockages in place.
Humanitarian CP: a single Hammer at the CP but there are no checkups – the Hammer merely blocks the path.
Olive pathway: open and road packed with Palestinian cars, as if it has never been an apartheid road, making both our eyes and our hearts rejoice.
Tarqumiya-Idna: Pillbox is manner, and passage is open. At the crossroads itself, the Palestinians put up new, yellow signposts, with Hebrew and Engligh directions: Hebron to the right, Tarqumiya to the left. Reviving themselves through those signposts – all green signposts, set up by the (Israeli) National authority for roads ignore Arab communities. This initiative is therefore heartening.
Taqumiya: Some of the tracks – seven, to be precise – stand waiting where the old CP used to be. Drivers do not report of any special problems. Pedestrian path is empty, three buses of families' visits in the parking lot. We are told they've gone through already at 7:30am – and that the CP is now functioning well. At the shed, a typists writes requests for the Laison and Coordination Admin upon demand.A concrete reserve is being built next to the parking lot outside – to be loaded by Palestinian concrete mixers.
Right-wing activists are in Um el Fahem today. Hence, we knew that today should be easier for us. Hebron is foggy and cold today, and at this hour, children walk to school.
The House of Dispute: A military bulldozer makes his way between the mosque and the house of dispute. The CP is manned by border police soldiers, and when we come to peep in, a detainee is just being released.
Below the house of dispute, two border police vans are parked.
Basem the grocer tells us that over these last two weeks border police soldiers have been genuinely mean and menacing to whoever passed through there. He shows us the soldiers deeds, as caught by his camera only two days ago. We contact the Brigade's spokesperson and tell her of this, as well as contacting "Betzelem", to make sure they are aware of these, most recent photos. It seems to us to truly deserve the attention of the department for the investigation of policemen (the Ministry of the Interior).
The prayers' route: gate is open.
Schorr Junction: Border Police Jeep.
Pharmacy CP: children walk to school. The little ones, unchecked, the elder, through the magnometer. A soldier-woman stressed upon seeing us: "who are you? You're not allowed to be here, and photographing is prohibited." But she calmed down relatively quickly. Over all, all seems to suggest a normal occupation routine.
Tel Rumeidah: no one is being checked and there are almost no pedestrians passing through. Raining and cold.
Tarpat CP: the purple instructions' sheet – the racist one we thought was already discarded – is hidden behind the concrete blocks, but still there. The person transmitting gas containers (for residential use) passes through the small gateway. The soldiers detain two youngsters – one in a black and red kafiah – something I never saw before. The soldiers tell us they detained them, briefly, because the kafia-wearer talked rudely to them. Later, it transpired that something was unclear in his paperwork. We waited there until some peace-activists arrived and promised to wait and update us if the youngster is detained for over an hour. They didn't get back to us, so we assume those two were released in due time.
The Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave: same Border Police soldiers, we know from earlier shifts. They've asked for M. (our new driver)'s documents. We all handed our documents over, and all were returned. They expressed their sorrow over I (our previous driver)'s passing away. One detainee, who was just there, was released while we were still around. Suddenly, we saw Ofer's jeep arrive. Approaching him, I asked how come he's not in Um el-Fahem just now – to which he responded that he his work is here, in Hebron. I told him of Ibrahim's death, at which he muttered: "OK. So I'll spare you today."
This is the occupation's image today. The routine continues, unchanged.