Dura-Al Fawwar Junction, South Hebron Hills
On our way to visit Farhan in Simiya, at Samu’a Junction the police stops a line of cars and “distributes” traffic tickets.
Farhan, his wife and younger son and grandson welcome us warmly in the shade of the fig tree near the house, with coffee, tea and fresh cucumbers. They say this year the women and children of the village will participate in a beach day (organized by Israeli volunteers, also members of MW) – 67 are already signed up. Assuming that by the planned date (August 7) some will drop out and they will fill a bus. Note that this is the village that made several attempts to establish a school for its children, so they wouldn’t have to cross a dangerous road on their way to the schoolhouse on the other side. All their efforts have been in vain. Now Farhan wants to donate his own land inside the village to build the school. At this point the children are on summer holidays, it’s a very hot day and they are all indoors.
On our way from there, the entrance to Abde with the pillbox army post is open.
At the spring near Dura-Al Fawwar Junction, a flock of sheep is seen drinking. The junction is open in both directions. We drove to Hursa. On our way we left bags with clothes and objects for a second hand shop owner who makes a meager living.
At Hursa, approach to the diwan is difficult since a pillbox post was put up adjacent to it, and the track was declared “closed military zone” and blocked by two large gates. But life goes on: today preparations for a wedding are taking place. The place is already filled with chairs, and now the wedding tent is being put up. People we met here wished to tell us of the hardships – not only has passage been blocked as described above, but an additional, parallel track has also been blocked by the pillbox soldiers with a barrier 203 times a day, especially mornings and evenings, when activity is at its highest.
Before leaving we are asked whether Sylvia (of MW) could help lift two of the locals out of the blacklist – they worked in Israel and were blacklisted and prevented from entry for no reason whatsoever! Suddenly they are on the ‘security’ blacklist. (We will pass on their details to Sylvia, hoping…)
On our way back, again at Samu’a Junction, the police escorted by soldiers, is still here, stopping a line of cars…