Gush Etzion, Hebron

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Lea and Muhammad; Translator: Natanya

1. At the entrance from the Kafisha neighborhood from the grocery store to the right (south) towards the border police base - there is a yellow gate, which means a new checkpoint. That is, there are now two checkpoints called the Ashmoret checkpoint, one right next to the base, and one in front of the grocery store.

2. The checkpoint after the grocery store to the east in the direction of Route 60 – is open .

3. But further on, a new checkpoint with soldiers, just before turning right (south) to Givat HaMevaser (The hill of the herald). That is, there is no crossing from the Kafisha neighborhood in the direction of road 60. And the crossing to Givat HaMevaser is only from the direction of road 60, from the Shuyukh intersection, near the girls' school.

4. Gush Etzion:

The idea is to check the situation in the village of Shushahala next to the Neve Daniel settlement. Mira received a phone call from a resident, Sa’ad. I called, his son answered, Saad had a heart attack (he is 55 years old) and is hospitalized for a few days in a hospital in Beit Jala. Of course I wished a full recovery on behalf of all of us. The son explains that the entrance to the village from Neve Daniel is blocked. The only entrance now is a dirt road accessible only by 4x4 vehicles, which starts near the northern entrance from Highway 60 to Efrat. I told him that we would later try to arrange to leave our car near the northern entrance to Efrat, and from there someone from the village would come to pick us up in a suitable vehicle.

5. I also spoke with an activist from Tzur Hadassah regarding the village of Wadi Fukin adjacent to them. Also there, the logical entrance to the village is blocked because of Tzur Hadassah, a community settlement that is inside the green line but actually blocks the entrance to the village. The residents of the village have to go completely around, through the Lamed He (35) crossing to their south on the road that goes up from the lowlands to Gush Etzion near the village of Jaba’, or through another settlement, the city of Beitar Illit. There is a barrier from the village to Beitar Illit, but Palestinians from the village who work in the settlement can pass there and enter the settlement (and maybe further from there). In any case, the activist explained to me that Wadi Fukin is a special case, because of their proximity to the green line drawn in the armistice agreements in 1949. The IDF raided it in 1951 and drove them deep into the territories, at a time when IDF raided Palestinian villages which remained in the area from Beit Shemesh to the Green Line and expelled their residents across the border, such as Zachariah and Mata. All these years the residents were refugees in the areas but continued to come to work their lands. Apparently the Israel Defense Forces tacitly agreed to this arrangement. After 1967 Moshe Dayan allowed them to return to live in the village and they restored the their homes. This strange history means that they don't really consider themselves Palestinians from the territories, and don't identify with Palestinian politics. They want to keep a low profile and the activist from Zur Hadassah thinks that they have enough help from activists and do not need the help of MachsomWatch.