Hebron, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills

Observers: 
Ariela Slomim and Michal Tsadik; Translator: Natanya
15/08/2017
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Morning

‘At Meitar the workers had already gone through. On the Palestinian side are serious rennovations.

It is impossible to grasp the filth that one sees. In a conversation with Gilad who is in charge of the checkpoint it appears that a large terminal will be built here, modern, comfortable and efficient of which there is no example as yet. Gilad is glad to tell us that he conducted an arduous campaign and eventually managed to get large budget.  Within a year or thereabouts an attractive terminal with air conditioning which will honour the human rights of the people and will also offer many more checking windows. We will say in his praise that he is the exception and is  always attentive and humane not only in his dealings with us but the workers too as they tell us.

So the wall is there and the terminal between two states will fly to glory in another year. But there are not two states.  10 minutes away from Palestinine we are at the settlement of Shama.

In Hebron business is as usual. But Zidan Saharabati tells us and shows us videos of the constant and  continuous delays which his son, Yazan, has to undergo each time he crosses the checkpoint at Tarpat when he comes to their home which is 100 metres from there. He says that one soldier claims that he attacked him and although he was not arrested, every time he passes there he is designated as someone who has to be stopped. At one stage with the help of the police a senior captain arrived who cancelled this command but after a few days it was reinstated and he is once again being  detained. He thinks that his son is paying the price for the fact that he photographs everything which is happening there. In the videos which he showed me he photographed his son through the bars of their house inside the army compound.

The last  time at the close of the Sabbath he was only set free after 23.30. The same night two boys were arrested. The one had his hand broken (no connection with the army) and were taken away blindfolded. Mofid Shaharabati sent us videos which show a clash between himself and the soldiers on what had happened a few minutes previously. At the top of the road a group of young settlers can be seen in Sabbath dress harassing a womon who was cleaning the entrance to her house and spraying gas on her and cursing her.  The police did nothing . Mofid is furious and angry because the soldiers are embarrassed and explain to them that they are there to protect  the Jews and do nothing more than drive them away from the women.

We continued to Hursa, a village in area A which sits between two pleasant hills on the way which leads down to the settlements of Negohot A and B.

Three weeks ago the area in the centre of the village was declared a closed military area and the pillbox is being built in the heart of the village and on the roof of a neighbouring house soldiers have installed themselves so as to protect this procedure. The army says that it has to guard the area of Negohot. That is the reason that  in the heart of the village they build a pillbox. Israeli flags fly from it and also on the roof of the house. The Palestinian flag is also  there. The people do not understand what is happening and are worried. At the foot of the pillbox is the school and the diwan of the village is next to it. Because of the situation the surrounding shops have been closed and their routine of life has gone to hell. They ask what will happen when the school year starts. We went up to the roof but did not photograph the soldiers sitting there with their gear and all the belongings of the family around  them and filth which cannot be imagined. The soldiers from the Home Front command are aware of the problem of their stay and say that  they feel very uncomfortable about this. They hope that by the end of the week or at least by Sunday they will leave. They are there to protect the pillbox which is being built and as soon as it is activated they will leave.

Let us see.  

We returned as do the people of Negohot joining Israel though Beit Awwa on road 358 in the direction of Lahav

The pillbox and "straw widow" procedure above the house in the centre of Hursa
Photographer: 
Michal Tsadik