Hamra, Tayasir, Tue 26.10.10, Afternoon

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Revital S., Hanna H. (Reporting and Photos)

Translation: Bracha B.A.

Bezek Junction 15:30

We passed through and no one paid much attention to us.  The view is spectacular and the mountains on the other side of the Jordan are lit up from the west.

15:45 – On the way to Tayasir Checkpoint

The entire area northeast of the checkpoint is filled with military activity and shooting that sounds like an exercise.

16:00 – Tayasir Checkpoint

The shooting continues. The old torn flag has been replaced with a new one that is waving proudly.  We photograph the large D9 tractor standing east of the checkpoint and a young second lieutenant asks us to stand away from the position and not to photograph the military zone. We stand in our usual position.  There is a lot of traffic.  Taxis, private cars and tenders are going through in both directions.  The soldiers here are new and are checking cars meticulously as only new soldiers have the patience to do.  All vehicles going towards Area A (towards Tayasir) are checked and IDs of all the passengers are checked.  The doors of vehicles going the other way are opened as well as glove compartments, hoods, and boots.  We haven't seen such meticulous inspections here in a long time. The electronic arm constantly goes up and down. Since it is controlled from inside the booth, the soldier in charge has to go in each time to operate it, wasting even more of the Palestinians' time.  Meanwhile the young officer is giving instructions for some sort of exercise over the phone. Pedestrians had to approach the turnstile one by one.  The officer deliberated whether a parent carrying a child also has to go through one by one. He is then reprimanded for allowing a small bag with papers to pass through without being checked.  Belts that make the machine beep are removed and then returned afterwards. Passengers from the taxi go through in ten to fifteen minutes.  One of the drivers says that it takes an hour to go from Bardala to Tayasir.     

16:45 – We were about to leave when an army tender with the words "Seamline Barrier Maintenance Team" arrived.  A soldier got out and climbed onto the D9 and followed the tender towards Area A where Israelis are not permitted to travel.  We hope they are not going on a house demolition assignment.  The noise of shooting continues.  We left at 17:00.

Other groups of soldiers are present along the road.  Evening is falling and cows are grazing along the road.

17:10 Alon Road beneath the Settlement of Shchiya

There are two donkeys on the road. There are settlers with kippot and fringes and army uniforms around them and a car with their friends alongside.  They recognize us as "two leftists."  They are heading towards the encampment to ask if the donkeys belong to them.  They are theirs.  They were taken from their grandfather a few months ago, maybe a year ago.  We stayed for tea and then continued on to the Hamra Checkpoint.

17:45 – Hamra Checkpoint

The dark road is suddenly lit up at the checkpoint and the passage is delayed because of our presence. There is also heavy traffic here especially towards Tubas in the West Bank.  There is a new flag of the Kfir Brigade flying in the middle of the road.  The vehicle with the X-ray machine is no longer there. The commanding officer asks us to leave.  He says that a Machsom Watch shift was forced to leave by the police.    (Is that true?) We remained. After 15 minutes we understood that the soldiers were not letting anyone through and were sitting and doing nothing.   The lineup of cars from the east grows longer and we understand that they are doing this because of us.  We phone the Liaison and Coordination Administration and were told to call the headquarters.  At first there was no answer and then they said they would deal with the problem.  They did not.  As we left they began to let people through and soon there was no one else waiting.  We apologized to the people in the line who had to wait for a quarter of an hour.  Pedestrians then began to go through and some took interest in our tags and greeted us.

We left at 18:45.

18:40 – Bezek

How are you?  Fine thanks.