Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills, Susiya

Observers: 
Yehudit K. (reporting) and M.; Translator: Natanya
26/08/2018
|
Morning

There was a lot of pressure at the Meitar checkpoint after the Haj and the illegal workers were trying to get through, but some of them were returned. Route 60 was quite crowded, and we drove to the Bedouin village of Umm al-KHeir, where the Carmel settlement was built right up to the edge of the village - and perhaps on its land. At any rate a massive presence which is also  threatening.

The children in the village were still on vacation and we were led to an area where a large group of men, mostly adults, came from the nearby villages to greet the new Haj who had returned from Mecca. Mohammad was greeted with open arms and coffee and hugs. I was greeated with embarrassed looks and stood in the doorway. A little boy brought me a chair and one of the young men (and I'll tell about him) put the chair in a far dark corner.

Came the Haj and moved the chair close to Muhammad. Then the young man got up again, who according to his dress was a Salafi (if they would have replaced his cap with a skull cap he would fit into a religious-nationalist framework with ease!). Mu'tasim called me and led me to the women's space in such a way that I had to hurry. Here, too, my luck did not play: The wife of the Haj, the Haja, gave a welcome to the family and friends, and 100 percent they did not want any strange Jew to spoil the festival. After 5 minutes I got up, greeted the one for whom the affair was held (I think there was another one that came back that day too) and I went back to the car, but not before greeting the Haj who shook my hand, and also congratulated Mu'tasim by name, which must have annoyed him. And that was my object.

It should be noted that in all the years that I have been active, both in the West Bank and inside Israel, this is the first time that I have encountered exclusion - and  so blatant and crude exclusion. I have no problem going to sit with the women in the villages and respect the tradition of separation, but there are ways to do it, and here there was a clear intention to show  contempt and, yes, hostility that embarrassed everyone: the elderly, women, Muhammad and me. Umm al-Kheir is a village that is mostly familiar with Mira and Co. And the question is asked: Was this a one-time event under special circumstances, led by a zealous person, or a new trend that appears not to cooperate with the Jews? In any case, it was not terrible but really unpleasant and the truth was that we had to get out of there as soon as it turned out that there was a celebration.

We heard back from Azzam of Susiya whose father died that morning. Not far from the Meitar checkpoint, even though it was close to one in the afternoon, we saw quite a few illegals trying their luck, most of them young