Hamra (Beqaot), Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 17.3.13, Afternoon

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Dorit G., Rina T. (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.


Why do the soldiers hate the leftist organizations?


Za’tara/Tapuach junction checkpoint. 

Border police soldiers in the booth on the Huwwara side.  We saw no vehicles detained or being inspected.  We picked up an ultra-orthodox hitchhiker.  He was born in Emanuel, and was doing national service in Yitzhar as a janitor in kindergartens and dormitories.  His older brothers serve in the army.


Ma’aleh Efrayim checkpoint.

Genial (to us) reservists explain that the only people not allowed through the checkpoint to the Jordan Valley are Palestinians coming from Gaza (???).  There were no soldiers at the checkpoint when we returned.


Ein el Hilweh.

A children’s theater group from Ramallah has erected a tent.  The performance will be at 6 PM.  There will be an additional show at Hamam el Malih.  M.’s two wives said they won’t be allowed to watch it.  When we returned we saw many volunteers from Jordan Valley Solidarity and other organizations, as well as the actors (we didn’t stay to see the show…).


Tayasir checkpoint.

A scathing speech from a reservist, a kibbutznik, a leftist who’s against the occupation and the settlements.  Why do he and his fellow-soldiers hate all the left wing groups, without exception?  He and his friends man the checkpoints unwillingly (no one wants to be there!), but the left wing groups who come to the checkpoints, instead of supporting the soldiers, who are in a difficult position, accuse them of carrying out a terrible assignment, photograph them, take things out of context, and unfairly portray them as brutes.  He compared us to the settlers – both of us make his life as a soldier unbearable.

What does he recommend we do to end the occupation?  We should focus on convincing Israelis within the Green Line.


Hamra checkpoint.

Reservists here as well.  They say pedestrians are selected randomly for inspection.  Sometimes people exit their vehicles out of habit and come to be inspected as they were used to doing in the past.  There are no restrictions on vehicles entering from the western part of the West Bank, but Palestinians with Israeli IDs aren’t allowed through.


Za’tara/Tapuach junction checkpoint. 

Two cars detained.  Border Police soldiers on the road from Nablus directed them to the plaza where they were inspected by a dog.  The passengers were required to move away from the cars and waited a few meters away during the entire inspection – they were all young, most of them male.  A car is stopped for inspection about every five minutes; the inspection lasts about 10 minutes.  Six female soldiers conduct it; one handles the dog and the others inspect the contents of the trunks, instruct the passengers waiting outside and observed the inspection.  It looked like a training exercise for the Oketz dog unit, and that the cars had been stopped randomly for that purpose (in particular since the passengers were young men…).


We should note again that, according to Islam, the dog is an unclean animal, and everyone who comes into contact with one must purify themselves.