Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir

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Revital Sela, Rachel Hayut (reporting and photographing). Translator: Charles K.



12:30  Bezeq checkpoint

We went through. It’s still very hot.  Sea squills decorate the slopes.

The encampment at Hamam el Malih, on the road up to Tayasir checkpoint, is still empty.


12:50  Tayasir checkpoint

Four soldiers.  They’re preparing for lunch, which they bring down from the tower to a picnic table at the entrance to the position on the road.  One soldier watches for cats and motions to drivers.  He offers us apples and water.  Light traffic, mostly from the east.  Occasionally drivers’ IDs are checked, or car trunks.

One soldier stands in firing position at the concrete block, his rifle barrel pointing down toward the road (see photo).

13:15  Pupils crossed from the west.  The drivers wish the soldiers bon appétit.

13:20  We left.


14:00  Hamra checkpoint

Six cars from the east and two taxis from the Alon Road wait to cross westward.  The line from the east lengthens to 10 cars.  Minibuses with laborers, trucks and private cars.  Two lanes open and in five minutes the line vanishes.  Lines didn’t form later.

14:30  We left.


14:45  Maskiyot settlement

Construction continues.  We drove up to the settlement, toward the observation shed.  The track wasn’t appropriate for our car, the afternoon heat wasn’t appropriate for hiking up on foot, so we gave up.  The fence bounding the settlement on the west stretches far to the south, along the ridge.


14:55  Bezeq checkpoint.

The woman at the checkpoint didn’t understand who we were.  Why did we have a notebook on our lap, what’s the tag we’re wearing.

Two or three times she repeated her question, “So whose side are you on?”  She checked the trunk, asked again, and walked over to an adjoining position.  All this time four others, who’d already met us, stood there continuing their conversations.

We thought the woman handling us was in training.  She told us she’s already a veteran, but has to ask her superiors about us.

Later she told us to go to the inspection station.  We did.  They directed us with hand jestures, indicated we should stop.  We stopped, waited.  Someone in a different uniform arrived, looked at us, told us to leave.

The boredom and heat must be killing them.

15:10  We left.