The army did not distribute paper documents with the new identification number. Once a soldier is told the number, he then cross-references it with a printed list.
“Anyone who does not have a number is removed or arrested. The Israeli army detained at least 20 international volunteers who monitor H2 area,” said Sohaib Zahda, of the Hebron-based activist group Youth Against Settlements.
Those who forget their ID numbers or chose not to register sneak in and out of the H2 area through fields, careful not to be caught in the heavily monitored region.
“Even the little kids have numbers,” said Anas Murakatan, 27, who lives in an apartment near a checkpoint at the entrance to Shuhada Street. “I am 58; she is 59,” Anas said, pointing to his pregnant wife, Fadwa Murakatan. His children are 60 and 61.
“When the baby is born, she will get one too.”
Fadwa’s child was due four weeks ago – prompting her husband to joke that “the baby is afraid, so he does not want to come out”. Fadwa explained that when she goes into labour, she will have to walk down Shuhada Street and cross a checkpoint, and only then will she be able to enter an ambulance. She said she had to wait 30 minutes the last time she needed an ambulance.
Because of the new regulations, she said, “we are not allowed to bring any guests. When I give birth, they will not allow my family to come and visit me