Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Mon 13.12.10, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Very few laborers on the Israeli side of the crossing at 06:40 in the morning. The Palestinian side is also empty and there are few cars in the parking lot. The weather is rainy and stormy. Snow on the hills. Probably the agricultural and construction workers don’t come out in such weather. We see on the road two buses with relatives of prisoners.
At Samu’a the rain begins (Muhammad and I complain: why doesn’t the rain fall in the Negev? The amount of dust in the Negev is more than our breath can handle). Little girls walk very, very quickly between the drops to school in Deir Razk, and other than us, the buses of the Hebron Development Society (the settlers’ buses), the buses with relatives of prisoners and five military jeeps – there are no cars on the road. The sign to the settlement of Negohot has been removed.
Soldiers leave the pillbox and set up a flying checkpoint. Five soldiers and a captain who explains to cadets (apparently from an officers training school) how to set up a flying checkpoint. A few cars are detained, trunks are opened, IDs taken. When I ask the commander whether he doesn’t think that it’s better to stay in the pillbox in this rain, he responds seriously: “I’m protecting the settlers.”
(I don’t understand how inspecting and stopping Palestinian cars driving on a road located in their area “protects the settlers,” and how that’s connected to security?! But I don’t argue with him. It’s too cold.)
At the blocked entrance to Hebron at the foot of Beit Haggai – the concrete barrier that had been decorated with blue graffiti reading “Nothing happens there…nothing…” has been painted brown.
An army jeep parked at the curve between Bani Na’im and Hebron.
The entrance to Kiryat Arba
The National Road Company is still paving the festive road to the Cave of the Patriarchs. An army jeep guards the deserted hitchhiking station.
Hebron is snowy and cold. When we arrive, the last of the worshippers in the synagogue below the Giv’at Ha’avot neighborhood return to their cars and drive away like mad.
All the soldiers at all the checkpoints are in their booths. It’s pouring and children run to school without being inspected.At the Cave of the Patriarchs checkpoint there are no detainees. Army jeeps parked at Curve 160 and the curve to the Giborei Khevron neighborhood – but there are no passersby and the soldiers don’t get out of the jeeps.
The settlers made themselves a small soccer field in the open space in the wholesale market, and goalposts for mini-soccer stand at each end.
We went to see what was happening at the Zion Route checkpoints – which was supposed to be open freely to Palestinians. The route is closed. The army claims it was too expensive, and there was hardly any Palestinian traffic there. What they don’t say is that it was necessary to obtain a special permit and to go through two checkpoints…that’s free access!? Again and again the injustice cries out to high heaven – how such a large part of Hebron has been turned into a ghost town on behalf of 500 racist Jewish settlers.
Hebron – An army jeep parked there, soldiers sitting inside, not coming out.
Rain and snow. All the pillboxes are in place, all manned, but no flying checkpoints. We went through Ma’avar Ha’Zayit to the Halhul bridge – the entire bridge is decorated with new signs and advertisements. So something looks normal. We bought olive oil in Tarqumiya and returned home – it was raining until the Beit Kama junction, but not beyond – God also forgot the Negev.