Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Sun 14.8.11, Morning

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Revital S., Rachel H. (reporting)

Translation: Bracha B.A.

04:50 – Bezek Checkpoint

It is still dark and the full moon is shining over the panorama.  We passed by rows of trees, each of which was lit with a separate lamp. 

05:15 – Tayasir Checkpoint

Three cars are parked by the side of the road.  A laborer is driving to work in the settlement of  Mechola, where he works in the herb fields until 2:00 in the afternoon.

Passengers are told "Ta'al" (come) one by one.  They present their IDs at the first window, and after they get them back at a second window they proceed to the turnstile and on to the car waiting below.  There were also very young girls passing through..  

There are two stoplights at the checkpoint, one on the east side and one on the west.   When the light is red a metal bar is lowered and spikes are raised in the road – all controlled by the soldier in the position.  We asked the young commander why this was needed, and he didn't know, saying, "Sometimes we have to close it."  It's an expensive toy for the bored soldiers at the position.

We left at 05:40.

The sign at the entrance to Tayasir reads "Bazelet Brigade" 

Alon Route

There is a two-story house at the settlement of Maskiot on the northern end of the new street  - the construction of which began a year ago when the building in the settlements was frozen.  

Opposite the settlement of Roi the Guchia Gate and the familiar pile of earth stand on the west side of the road, and reaches almost as far as the Bikot Junction.  Access to the road from the west is blocked by large boulders and piles of earth..

06:10 – Hamra Checkpoint

There is no traffic.  Twelve soldiers (10 men and 2 women) are pacing back and forth.  We left at 06:26..

06:45 – Maaleh Ephraim Checkpoint

We turned onto Route 505 without being stopped and approached the checkpoint from the west.  There are three or four soldiers manning each of the positions as well as the watchtower.  Vehicles with yellow (Israeli) license plates pass through the line, and we wait our turn. The line was short and we passed through quickly without stopping. 

07:10 – The Jordan Valley Road (Route 90)

On the road sign at the Patzel junction the Arabic has been removed (according to Dichter's law to eliminate the Arab language).  Slightly north of the junction, near the Jordan Valley monument, there is a graffiti inscription reading "Death to the Arabs" on a bus stop.  In the area of the Jiftlikevery building to the east has a sign that reads "Oslo Criminals Must Go to Trial."

We met a date grower at the entrance to the village of Zbidat  north of the Adam junction.  He promised that after Ramadan we would be able to buy dates from him.  Another sign promises "Total absorption" in the settlement of Shdemot Mecholah – a solution for the sushi-eating, nargila-smoking young people in the tent cities of social justice protest.  

08:00 – Bezek Checkpoint

A new lean-to offers shade to the positions on the road.  The girl who asked us where we had come from was not familiar with the names Hamra and Tayasir, but wished us a pleasant day.  We continued on our way and ended the shift with a visit to the tent city in Beit She’an.