Video: Ice Cream at Hebron checkpoint
The severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the vicinity of the settlements in Hebron encourage the arbitrary and regular harassment of the residents. B'Tselem volunteer Raed Abu a-Rmeileh filmed a video showing what happened to an ice cream delivery intended for a grocery store.
On 17 March 2014, Anwar Maswdeh, a Hebron grocery store owner, received a delivery of snacks and ice creams. In his testimony to B'Tselem he described what happened:
“I unloaded about 20 boxes of chips and 50 boxes of ice cream from the vehicle. I asked the Border Police officer at the checkpoint to open the gate for the truck so that I could transfer the goods to my grocery store. He refused, claiming that I didn’t have a permit from the Civil Administration. I had to bring in the goods by hand using a cart. I got the chips into the store in three loads without any problems. When I started loading the ice cream boxes, the Border Police officer suddenly stopped me and ordered me to bring the boxes to him for inspection. He demanded that I bring them one box at a time. I refused because it was very hot, and because I knew that if I opened the boxes it would be very hard to arrange them in the fridge afterwards. The police officer insisted on searching the boxes.”
The painstaking search took a long time, and in the meantime the ice cream melted. After a delay of about one hour, Maswdeh asked B'Tselem volunteer Raed Abu a-Rmeileh to come to the scene. A-Rmeileh filmed the search of the boxes and the ensuing argument between Maswdeh and the Border Police officer. Eventually, some two hours after the merchandise arrived, Maswdeh had no choice but to abandon the melted ice cream. He sent the shipment back to the factory, but suffered NIS 1,200 in losses.
Since the massacre of Muslim worshippers at the Tomb of the Patriarchs, perpetrated by settler Baruch Goldstein in 1994, the military has openly pursued an official policy of segregation in Hebron. The main means the military uses to this end is the imposition of severe restrictions on the movement of Palestinians in the city center, where most of the settlements are situated. Since the settlements themselves are illegal, the restrictions add insult to injury. The freedom of movement of an entire population is put under sweeping and disproportionate restrictions in order to facilitate and perpetuate a policy that is inherently illegal.