Ma'ale Efrayim, Shomron Crossing, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 27.2.11, Afternoon

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Rina Z., Hanna P. (reporting)

The central problem in today's watch is the continuing harassment, by the settlers from Maskiot, of beduins living below the settlement, focusing on the subject of water.

11.00 Shomron gate

There is a police car and an Israeli vehicle is being checked. Beyond the gate on the right a few new buildings are visible (opposite the Arab village Sarta).

Zaatara junction

No checks are performed in any direction. To the east of the square there is a military post and a military vehicle.

12.00 Maale Efrayim junction

A tractor and a truck are waiting. Road repairs in the direction of pazael.

12.20 Hamra checkpoint

Changing of the guard.
At the entry due west there’s a line of 6 cars. Checking is stopped and renewed after 10 minutes. Meanwhile the line has increased to 11 cars, which are now being examined randomly - some pass freely, some are checked, including a U.N. car.

A taxi driver from Nablus told us that one of his passengers is his daughter, who had a heart operation and is not supposed to leave the car. The driver had a letter in Arabic which the soldier could not read, and he demanded to see the daughter's surgery site. As expected the father refused and then another soldier let them pass.
Twenty minutes later there were no cars at the checkpoint.

On the way we passed a Bedouin encampment where people were making sheep’s milk cheese, which they sell in Nablus for 20 shekels a kg. They obtain water at Shibli well at 24 shekels per cubic meter.

At Maskiot we saw tractors equipped for soil cultivation, on the hill and below.

14.20 Tayasir checkpoint
En route we saw cultivated Palestinian fields and plots covered with plastic sheets.

The checkpoint is almost empty – one car west and 3 east. At the entrance Palestinians stand before being checked . They stand 30 meters from the entrance, and are called one by one to approach, including a woman carrying a babyinfo-icon and parcels who has to carry everything to the taxi waiting for her beyond the checkpoint.

On our way from Tayasir we were stopped by some Bedouins we know who live with their herds over a riverbed below Maskiot. They told us that this morning Rami, the security man from Maskiot took Ali, a neighboring shepherd, in a military jeep to Tayasir checkpoint, where he was held for 3 hours and then released.
Furthermore they said that on Saturday, 19/2/11, 2 girls filled pails with water from the well. Then 10 settlers from Maskiot arrived, and as the girls ran away the settlers spilled the water, chased the girls, and beat their mother. The Bedouins called the police, the settlers fled, and Rami, the security man, promised that this would not happen again. This satisfied the police and no one was arrested.