Hebron, Tarqumiya, Tue 17.2.09, Morning
6:40 – Thirty trucks are on their way to download sand – there are no workers at CP and those who arrive, go through immediately. Three buses of prisoners' families are making their way.
Very few cars on the road – no military vehicles at all – soldiers remain inside pillboxes, avoiding rolling checkpoints. Children walk along the sideway to their schools. All blockages are in place, and all pillboxes, manned.
Right beyond the yellow gate, settlers praying in the synagogue located under the patriarchs' quarter. Many children on their way to school.
Along the way leading to the House of Dispute, concrete blocks have been removed – perhaps heralding the [re]opening of the way? Boarder Police CP next to the House of Dispute is manned and operated by Boarder Police soldiers.
The Prayers' Route: the gray gate is open, and some concrete blocks, on which is written "The Patriarchs' Quarter" were left lying there.
On the turn to the Patriarchs' Tomb Cave, a Boarder Police Jeep is stationed. They don't get off the Jeep. Many children walk through this obstacle to school. It is extremely dirty, the soldiers having liberally littered there.
Pharmacy CP: the children go through quickly – they are rather satisfied with the Boarder Police soldiers' presence there. The regular Friday demonstrations take place and we are still in touch with the victim's family – a 15yrs old boy.
Going uphill, towards Tel Rumeydah, the settlers scribbled some new graffiti on the wall: "Hebron is ours to eternity", etc. – this time, there's no "Death to the Arabs".
Tel Rumeydah CP: the children go through without any problems. The soldiers remain in their booth.
Tarpat CP: a soldier waits for more teachers to come along – he takes the list out of the booth and lets them walk through only after having glanced through their IDs.
At the Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave entrance CP: concrete blockages have been removed. Might this be another sign for the [re]opening of the way?
Patriarchs' Tombs' Cave CPs: there are no detainees, and some building works, involving a new sewage pipe are in progress. Stores are still shut down because it still very early and cold.
Overall, Hebron is very harsh and depressing.
Humanitarian CP: pillbox is manned.
Olive passageway: open. Many Palestinian cars on the road.
Tarqumiya-Idna: pillbox is manner. IDF soldiers have taken over the Boarder Police soldiers and the grocer tells us the latter were better. The soldiers walk down at noontime to set up rolling checkpoints. On Sunday, Palestinian criminals stole a truck from an Israeli driver. They kicked him off next to the pillbox – the army contacted the Palestinian Police, which set up a checkpoint on the Tarqumiya-Bet Kahil road and caught the stolen truck. It was returned to the driver. That afternoon, a massive army force (20 Jeeps) moved into Taruqmiya and searched.
Tarqumiya: following a phone call we received, concerning the harshening of checkups, we turned to talk to the truck drivers: currently, they wait with their trucks where the old CP used to stand. When it is their turn, they are contacted by phone, and proceed to the CP. They can wait there between two to five hours – without the minimal service – not even a bathroom or where to shelter from the rain. Everyday, between 200 and 300 trucks drive through this CP. The checkups they undergo there are include a screening machine if anything rings – and then, they are asked to take their clothes off – sometimes at the point of a gun. On the 24th [February?] they have a meeting set with the CP's manager. We shall be following this one up (and again, we face the old dilemma: should we act as if we were social workers on behalf of the occupation and help them – or merely report?)