Dura-Al Fawwar Junction, ramadin, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills

Observers: 
Muhammad and Ariela; Translator: Natanya
May-4-2021
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Morning

The  Meitar checkpoint was full. I have not seen so many cars parked on the Palestinian side for a long time.

We went out to Khursa via Ramadin. At the intersection, stalls of the local kind of cucumbers of which the smell reaches our car . Of course there is a guard post at the junction which had no soldiers there.

We drove towards Eshkolot  and it is hard not to admire the view, despite or thanks to the quarry. The road passes between shops and garages and lots of colorful nurseries and to my surprise, most of the shops were open and there was traffic on the road despite Ramadan. For some reason it seems to me that the bulk of the industry and trade in the southern Hebron Mountains is focused on scrap cars. We turned onto Road 354 through Beit al-Rush and in the area of the village of Sik the Palestinian Authority is paving new roads. We continued to the Beit Awa junction and there we turned onto road 3265 which leads to Negohot. Of course there is a pillbox at the intersection. On the ridge to our left stands Negohot B, Givat HaBustan, which is an illegal outpost for which in 2003 a demolition order was given. Meanwhile the place is blooming and flourishing and standing firmly in place.  I could not find out what the status of the settlement is today. The vineyards were planted on private Palestinian lands. Further down is the Negohot Sheep Farm, possibly Negohot III, which, according to the Kerem Navot website, the settlers are taking over pastures for the Palestinians.

We continued to Khursa. The pillbox was built in the heart of the village in Area A and its role is to protect the Negohot settlers who use this road to shorten the road to Hebron.

We met Tawfiq and asked him what was happening now in Khursa. There is a new company that has taken over the pillbox and not everyone is behaving nicely. Additional defenses were added to the pillbox area - blocks of concrete - because sometimes children throw stones at the soldiers. When I asked what was happening with the schools, he said that the studies take place, but in smaller groups (capsules in our places) and not every day. When they did not go to school, the children studied on zoom.

The problem of water in the occupied territories bothers me. To my question, he said that water is divided according to neighborhoods. Each neighborhood receives water one day a week and each house has a well from which the water is pumped to a tank on the roof and from there to the taps in the house. The water to the Khursa comes from the Gush Etzion area to the water tower. The price of water ranges from five to ten shekels per cubic meter and it increases if the water consumption is high. In winter they store rainwater. There are no sewage infrastructures in the Khursa and there are septic tanks.

The opening of the divan depends on prior arrangement, but when someone dies it is difficult to coordinate in advance. Tawfiq says that the army does not want the residents to ask to open the divan but only wants to know that the divan has been opened and in Tawfiq's opinion there is a difference. According to Tawfiq, the economic situation and standard of living are desperate and people have no money.

Regarding Corona, a new hospital was opened in Dura and tests for Corona were done there and began to vaccinate the elderly population. Due to multiple road accidents at the junction below Diwan, the Palestinian Authority decided to make a traffic circle but the works got stuck in the middle due to lack of budget.

We returned to Route 60 and just before the junction a regional emergency center was built. Is there a chance it will become a new settlement?

On the way back to the Meitar checkpoint, we did not encounter any checkpoints or the army.

Only the sewage at the Meitar checkpoint continues to smell.