Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Susiya
Almost complete quiet at the checkpoint due to the closure of the Occupied Territories during the holidays. A little traffic on Route 60 and on 317 slightly more than usual. We entered Susya: everything is quiet there too. Azzam is busy, his two sons marry this week and move to Yatta. Congratulations.
At A-Tuwani volunteers of the Operation Dove organization called to the cave village of Umm Fukara because of confiscation of property by the army and we went there via a road intended for Avigail settlers. Halfway down we encountered a "situation": a truck belonging to a resident of the village and a pile of material for the construction of a house next to the road + an army jeep. The camera chose to die at this moment, but a volunteer of DOVE promised to send me the vast amount of photographs she had taken.
To make a long story which lasted an entire hour short: the owner of the truck left the village and going up to the exit (unpaved of course) the building materials in the open truck, which were not connected (!) fell on the road. Totally by accident in the middle of nowhere an army vehicle arrived came. Two officers (a captain and a lieutenant) decided that there had been a traffic violation and the materials must be confiscated. What were they doing there in the middle of nowhere ? The day before there had been a "quarrel" between Jews and Arabs. Not settlers, "local residents" and they had had to be separated. They had come today to check that all was quiet. Then they found the man who had been driving too fast with a load which was not tied (and at an elevation of at least 45 degrees!) and the materials had to be confiscated because the driver tried to build illegally ... and the confiscated material will come to the unit and there he can get it back, perhaps, and the truck. He did not think he would have to pay money.
Later on the villagers arrived, and the volunteer who said that last week there had been a demolition in this poor village (which is indescribably poor) and the soldiers (the same soldiers, but it is not clear) were extremely brutal. M, who was on her own and not used to the sights and sounds she heard and was really upset and angry. The captain said that here he was the authority on the ground and he decided to confiscate. After a few minutes, he said that he was not the authority which decided which building was illegal and he was only obeying orders. Who knows. It is not possible in words to exaggerate the absurdity and the injustice here. Muhammad and I have connections in the village and will find out what happened to the man, the building materials and the truck, which of course is his livelihood. Then more soldiers arrived, and another officer. So of course it became a very serious incident, and the security of the state was in danger, not to mention road safety which also worried our courageous soldiers. I'll update details if I receive more information.