Hamra (Beqaot), Huwwara, Ma'ale Efrayim, Salfit Checkpoint, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 24.12.11, Morning

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Ruthi R., Natalie K., (Reporting)

Translation: Bracha B.A.

09:30 – The Shomron (Samaria) Gate

The checkpoint is empty.

09:45 – Salafit

There were two soldiers at the checkpoint, which was also empty.

10:00 – Tapuach Junction

There was a jeep at the junction but no police or soldiers present.

10:15 – Maaleh Efraim

There were three soldiers at the checkpoint, which was unusual.

10:50 – Hamra Checkpoint

There were four soldiers present.  We met a man who told us that Danny Ashkenazi, the person responsible for security, is constantly harassing Palestinians.  Passage is going smoothly.

11:20 – Tayasir Checkpoint

Four cars are waiting for passengers who are being checked.  One of the drivers told us that they have been waiting for more than a half hour, and it was unusual for so many cars to be waiting there on Saturday.  We met a lot of people who were waiting and we asked if people were ever allowed to show their documents and pass through without getting out of their cars.  They explained that everything depended upon the soldier and whether he was pleasant or not.  Some soldiers let people through quickly and other "bad" ones deliberately make people wait for an hour and a half.  This is particularly true of people going from Tubas to the Jordan Valley.

By 11:40 all the cars that had been waiting and their passengers had crossed through.

12:30 – Hamra Checkpoint

There is a long line of cars waiting and there are  six soldiers, a bulldozer, and a command car at the checkpoint.

13:00 – Maaleh Efraim Checkpoint

The soldiers who were there this morning are now gone and the checkpoint is empty.  There is at least one soldier in the watchtower.

13:10 – Tapuach Junction

There are no soldiers present.

13:45 – Hawara Checkpoint

There are no soldiers present.

13:55 – There is a temporary road block at the entrance to Tzaara.   At 14:05 a jeep arrived and evidently gave an order to leave, and the roadblock is taken away.  People can pass through freely again.

14:20 -  – Eliyahu Gate

There is a long line of cars waiting to cross into Israel.