Beit Ummar - banal killing
1. My attempts to communicate again with Saad Salah from the village of Shushahala near Neve Daniel - were in vain: I was able to get a telephone response from a Hebrew speaker, and unfortunately I don't speak Arabic.
2. I focused on trying to understand from the Palestinian side what happened in Beit Ummar, a large town between Hebron and Gush Etzion, road 60 passes through the town (with many traffic jams...), road construction works on Lev Yehuda road continue, which bypasses the town from the east, continues straight south from the El Arrub (refugee camp) junction and continues south of Gush Etzion and connects again to Route 60, a little north of the Halhul North/Se’ir intersection.
As mentioned, the journey is on road 60 through the town, in the center of which is a pillbox towering above the cluster of shops, the taxi station, the gas station, and the intersection of the road heading west from Beit Ummar.
3. Between the settlement Karmei Tzur intersection south of Beit Ummar, and Beit Ummar itself, vegetable stands on the side of the road. I stopped next to one of them trying to find out what happened last week. The seller said he didn't know anything as he was not from Beit Ummar. He claims that everything is fine with them in Halhul and he has nothing to say to MachsomWatch.
He pointed to agricultural plots to the east of the road and said they belonged to his family, faded vines of the end of the season.
4. Later I stopped by a cluster of shops. Some young men decided to bring me to the father of one of them, the owner of a large nursery on the east side of the road. Over a cup of coffee the man spoke to me in English, said that he had learned
English literature at Bethlehem University, and we laughed about Shakespeare together because I had studied English literature at Bar Ilan University. I left him our business card if he wants to talk to us later.
Here is his report.
A military vehicle broke down and got stuck on the road going up from Beit Ummar to the west. The soldiers immediately blocked the road, that is, they prevented passage from Beit Ummar and to it from this direction, and in the meantime called for mechanical help, blocking the road. Of course it caused a nervous gathering of residents, which frightened the soldiers who called for military aid. One of the residents took a picture with his mobile phone. The soldiers shot him dead. A family man, father of children. In addition to that, the funeral took place in the cemetery of Beit Ummar, but this cemetery is too close to the pillbox! This situation also caused nervous friction between the mourners and the army, and only miraculously was another disaster avoided.
5. My summary: Long live the occupation. A person is killed for no reason not because of some dramatic event, but because of something completely banal, a stuck vehicle that causes traffic jams and problems for everyone involved. But rather that this banal event happens as part of the simple routine of the occupation. The stuck vehicle belongs to the army the conqueror And the sequel is known. I remembered an event of this type that we witnessed years ago near a road junction 60/Halhul North: A vehicle slowed down to turn left, the vehicle behind it did not keep a distance and therefore rammed it. What is not banal here? The vehicle turning left was a yellow Palestinian taxi, the vehicle that did not keep its distance. There was an army ambulance. At first the army lied as if it was the fault of the taxi. In the second stage the army made the taxi owner's life miserable even though he was not to blame for the accident (confiscation of the taxi and a demand to come and fetch it from the DCO of Beit El). In no case was there any compensation for the damaged vehicle by the offending vehicle. Just a usual day in the occupation.