Hamra (Beqaot), Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 3.12.12, Afternoon

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Observers: Naomi L., Rina Z. (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.


Tayasir checkpointwas closed yesterday for a few hours.  The schoolchildren were allowed through but not their transportation and they were forced walk a long distance.  The non-com at the DCO denied that this had occurred.

Those coming through the checkpoint say that residents of the JordanValleyaren’t allowed through the checkpoint in their vehicle, contradicting what was announced in the press.  The non-com at the DCO denied this too.


Tapuach/Za’tara junction  10:55

No inspections


Ma’aleh Efrayim checkpoint  11:10

Two military jeeps parked at the checkpoint and a third at the junction but we see no soldiers and there are no inspections.


In the cultivated fields next to the pumping station between Gittit and Mechora we again met the Israeli from Tel Aviv who leases the fields from the Gittit settlement and receives a generous allocation of water for crops requiring irrigation.  He uses the abandoned packing house.


Hamra checkpoint 11:40

Very light traffic


Gochia checkpoint, which three weeks ago had been demolished by tanks during army maneuvers, is still wide open.


Tayasir checkpoint  14:25

The taxi drivers say West Bank residents are still prevented from going to the JordanValleyin their cars, despite press reports two months ago that the restrictions had been lifted.

We spoke with Najid, the DCO checkpoints non-com, who said that the restriction had been cancelled and every Palestinian is allowed through the checkpoint in his vehicle.

We later visited K., who lives not far from the checkpoint. We were told that yesterday (2.12.12) the checkpoint was closed for a number of hours.  The family’s children who attend school in Tayasir were allowed through on foot, in the afternoon, but their transportation was turned back.  So they had to walk more than five km. home from the checkpoint.

Najid denied that the checkpoint had been closed to vehicles yesterday at any time.

We watched the checkpoint from a distance.  Not much traffic at this hour.  Three soldiers seated in front of the booth on the road.  We see only two cars waiting from the west.  The soldiers sit talking, the cars wait.  Five minutes later one soldier stands and signals the cars to advance for inspection.  A woman who’d been riding in one of the cars came through on foot four minutes after submitting her documents for inspection.  In other words, it took her 9 minutes to cross – at a time when the checkpoint was almost empty.

The same thing happened again.

One driver complained they must wait for passengers far from the checkpoint (more than 100 meters away).  Sometimes the passengers include the elderly, babes in arms and little children, all of whom are forced to walk in all weather (it’s more than 40 degrees here in the summer).


Hamra checkpoint  16:25

A detainee sits on a chair, waiting.  The soldiers say he’s been waiting an hour.  The Shabak ordered he be detained.  The soldiers are permitted to detain him for three hours.


Ma’aleh Efrayim checkpoint  16:45

No soldiers.