Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tue 9.6.09, Morning
translated by Revital S.
By 07:10am all the workers had crossed. Two of the three buses conveying prisoners' families have completed the crossing procedure. The lorries are working as usual.
All the roadblocks are in place and all the pillboxes, manned. No children are to be seen walking on the roadside as the summer vacation has started. By the junction of roads 60 and 356, a water pipe had exploded loudly and soldiers are there to file a report. Must have to do with activity carried out there yesterday.
School is over and the children are milling about in the streets.
By the entrance to Kiryat Arba there's an illegal stronghold - bigger than it was last week with two Israeli flags now flying over it - disgrace to the flag.
The House of Dispute CP is empty of pedestrians.
At Curve 160 there are no detainees but the gate is closed again - why? Handicapped girls don't have to pass there anymore, and anyway it's nowhere near a Jewish settlement and seems to have no better purpose than to hassle and distress and proclaim who calls the shots.
The Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave CPs: when we get there we see Border Police soldiers, a woman and a man, releasing a youth with a "friendly spank". We get out of the car and, as I got out of bed this morning feeling belligerent, I challenge the female BP: "why are you beating him?" "It was a standard search and we only stood him against the wall". Seeing as he was released we didn't stay.
The Pharmacy CP: no pedestrians.
Tel Rumeida CP: no pedestrians.
Tarpat CP: no pedestrians, a horrible sense of being in a ghost town.
Gross Square: eight soldiers seem to be directing the soldier standing under the Cordoba School steps to stop our transit again (as they did last week) and ask M our Arab driver for his ID. Michal tries to hand hers to the soldier, but he says there's no need. I (belligerent, as mentioned above) push mine into the soldier's hand and tell M not to give his. At the same time, I call H, the brigade spokesperson, to tell her we'd had enough of this racist army - a blue ID is a blue ID no matter who holds it. H is as civil as always and promises to see to it and indeed our papers are returned. This wrong and unfair practice is a private initiative of the 101 battalion of paratroopers, by no order from above. They qualify for first place in racism in the IDF.
Highways 317 and 356: Occupation is running its very ordinary course except for a police ambush to stop drivers of stolen cars. We observed no IDF preparations to dismantle any strongholds. On the contrary they're only getting bigger - Mizpe Yair, Mizpe Avigail, as well as Havat Maon, Mizpe Asael, Eshtamoa (across from Sham'a). Over the latter few the IDF is even standing guard.
The Cisterns: Naomi Shemer (the great Israeli poet/rhytemist) once wrote of the cistern that she loves (but loved the occupation more than the occupied people as such). In this droughty year, when we are warned that Israel is drying up, when the forces of occupation are stealing water from the Palestinians incessantly, when every Jew gets three times more water than every Palestinian (at least within the occupied territories), the civil administration decided to demolish seven cisterns in which the Palestinians stored rainwater. They were dug, regardless of the laws of occupation pertaining in Area C, without due authorization. No wonder, considering how difficult permits are to come by, issued as they are at the inaccessible Liaison & Co-ordination Administration behind so many checkpoints.
Yesterday's MW shift noticed the beginning of this demolition and we promised to look at it today.
Accordingly, we stopped the car on the way up to Bnei Naim and waited for someone to pass-by. Luckily, we met Muhamad Jabbar, Mukhtar of Baqa. He joined us and we went together to the village where the cisterns were being demolished. Yesterday, the village put up resistance and a 45 year old mother of nine and a 17 year old were arrested.
Again we're at a loss as to the logic of this: Do the forces of occupation want to leave people destitute and driven to desperation? We put these angry people in touch with Yesh Din and left.
Stupidity and cruelty, disregard for natural justice seem to know no bounds.