Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir

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Revital Sela, Rachela Hayut (reporting, photos). Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham



Today is the second day of the three-day holiday of Eid-al-Fitr – the end of the Ramadan fast.


08:50– We crossed Bezek Checkpoint.  The construction on the sides of the road leading from Hamam al-Malikh is continuing westward. 


08:50– The tent camp at Hamam al Malikh is empty.


09:10 – Tayasir Checkpoint

Four armed soldiers wearing flak vests are walking towards the checkpoint and continue down the road eastward.  It is not clear why they have to walk along the road in the intense heat of the Jordan valley.

When we reached the checkpoint the soldiers recognized us from our previous visit.  They offered us cold water and let us inside the air-conditioned position.  They now treat us much better, after several difficult encounters.  This time an officer was also present and he explained to the soldiers that they have to behave in an exemplary manner as members of the IDF, who serve the public. 

A banner is still hanging on the wall surrounding the position that reads "Nachshon Brigade, a victorious family."

The traffic on the road consists of private cars and taxis carrying families celebrating the holiday, dressed in holiday clothes, rather than their usual work clothes. 

The soldier at the checkpoint checks the documents of the people who are going east towards the valley.  He calls people loudly over the loudspeaker. Many say they are on their way to Bardala.   Before we left a mobile kiosk belonging to the "soldiers' welfare committee" pulled up, offering candy and sweets.  The vendor hastened to tell me in a rather hostile manner that he sold "only to good people."

We left at 09:50.


 10:15 Hamra Checkpoint


There is not a lot of traffic, but people are festive, as at Tayasir.  The Palestinian worker who cleans the area packed the bottles he has collected and caught a ride westward to the West Bank. There are electric wires lying on the side of the road with one end attached to the lampposts above the waiting shed.  Flags of the Kfir Brigade are flying above the checkpoint.  There are two soldiers standing at the position on the road.  There are a lot of large new military vans and vehicles on the road.

We left at 10:45.


We "discovered" the skeleton of a shed east of the settlement of Maskiot.  We will continue to follow what happens there.


11:10 – Bezek Checkpoint

When the female guard heard that we have come from the checkpoints she became alert and demanded that the trunk of our car be checked.  We were then permitted to continue on our way.

Policemen from the Border Patrol were standing at the entrance to Park Ha-Ma'ayanot and checking people who wanted to spend the holiday picnicking by the water.