Dura-Al Fawwar Junction, Hakvasim (sheep) Junction, Sansana (Meitar Crossing), South Hebron Hills

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Yehudit K and M.D.

In the month of Ramadan marked by the strict fast from sunrise to sunset we carried out our usual Sunday shifts. For better or worse the three were almost identical. At the Meitar checkpoint the usual press of people was undiminished but we did see fewer "illegals" than usual: it seems that the breach in the Separation Fence has been mended. On the 12 and 19th of May we saw the army lying in wait for illegals at the Fence, as well as the civil police and on 19/05 a Border police patrol car ready to grab those who did manage to sneak in to the Israeli side. Route 60 all the checkpoints were active: Abda as usual blocked most of the time (the disabled man, Anwar, whom we reported on last month has disappeared and does not answer his phone but the blockade of the internal detour is still blocked.  Al Fawwar, the sheep crossing. Beth Hagai and Bani Naim were all closed by the army: these are entrances to villages that are blockaded by checkpoints hampering the movement of people within the West Bank - nowhere near the "border" with Israel.  Route 317 a few settlers almost no Palestinians. Back to Route 60: building goes on apace at the Eshtamoa outpost and at Shama the building is almost complete - a whole slew of little houses.   Back at the Mitar checkpoint  even at the early hour of noon we see workers trudging homewards - maybe because there is no work or maybe because o f the fast. The buses for families visiting relatives in prisons in Israel wait patiently on the Israeli side.  In all the three weeks we didn't go to a single village because people just want to be left in peace: the long fast during the hot hours of the day is exhausting, especially since they cannot even smoke! and people just want to rest. But the quiet is an illusion and goodness knows what lurks under the surface of this quietude.