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

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Yehudit K (reporting), M.D.

Our regular route brings no surprises: the Meitar checkpoint is croded and nervous, the last week of Ramadan and everyone is exausted and fed up. In spite of the crowding at the checkpoint, in Beersheva for instance, many building sites dependent on Palestinian labour are paralyzed or working at half strength.  Route 60 is relatively quiet except for mainly Palestinian vehicles (white and green licence plates) it seems that the settlers are busy at home, perhaps preparing the ground for expansion or finalizing new buildings (Shama'a). The checkpoints at Dahariya, Abda, Al Fuwwar and Dura are all staffed, (except for Abda which is simply closed more or less in perpetuity),  the sheep crossing, and Beit Hagai are also staffed.

Route 317 is very quiet although there is some vehicular army and Border police presence, driving around at crazy speeds as if looking for excitement because after all its very boring out here.  It's less boring for the Palestinians who never know from one minute to the next if the military will enter their villages or their houses,arrest them on the roads or beat them at the checkpoints.

On the way home the new traffic lights at the Um Batin junction, are not working...only the devil knows why. (Umm Batin is a Bedouin village inside Israel.The crossroads are on busy Route 60 and there have been a number of serious accidents. Traffic lights have  recently been installed after a long battle with the authorities thanks to the residents supported by civil society organizations such as Standing Together. The lights work only intermittently and have not been formally inaugurated  yet.