Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir

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Ruti tuval,, Rucheleh Hayut (reporting and photographing). Translator: Charles K.


13:20  Bezeq checkpoint

The weather is pleasant.  Most of the land is dry and brown, except for the cheerful agricultural lands of the settlements.


Driving up to the Tayasir checkpoint

Life has been renewed at the Hamam-el-Malih encampment.  The military training areas on both sides of the road are empty.


13:35  Tayasir

Cows graze near the fence of the deserted army base.  Heavy traffic.  Two soldiers in the emplacement on the road.  We can’t see them, but every so often a waiting car drives off and we assume they’ve waved the car through.  Ruthie walked down to tell them one of the trucks has been waiting a (relatively) long time.  The soldiers emerged, began inspecting the cars (the ones heading west, toward Tayasir!).  They said they carefully inspect every fifth car.  Perhaps because of us, and for the officer who arrived in a jeep from the Barak battalion, they began checking more frequently.  They detained one of the cars and called someone on the phone about it, which took a long time.  The soldier finally told me the people in the truck lacked permits and politely asked us to stop bothering him.


14:20  We left.


14:25  We saw a jeep driving up to the Tayasir checkpoint.  We turned around to follow it, thinking it was connected to the detained vehicle.  The major who was driving said he was an officer in the engineering corps who’s been sent to see about moving the checkpoint farther east.  He doesn’t know to where, but the army will have to repair the damage caused by the existing checkpoint and restore the area to its previous condition.  He didn’t stay to tell us where it would be moved to.


14:40  We left (the detained vehicle still stood by the roadside).


The Alon Road:  Netting covers a large portion of the new vineyard west of the road.  The earthen berm has been made higher in preparation for winter.


15:00  Hamra checkpoint


25(!!) cars wait east of the checkpoint.  A long line of vehicles is visible to the west; we’re not able to count them.  A soldier stands facing a group of about ten youths, then releases them (they go up to the encampment to the north of the checkpoint).  The driver of one of the cars says he’s been waiting three hours, and that they’re letting only one car through every half hour.  He came from the bridge, and was glad we were there because “now they’d begin working.”  We saw six soldiers at the checkpoint.  A bulldozer was parked in the plaza.  We asked a soldier standing at the pedestrian lane whether anything had happened.  He said no.  And that a line of 30 cars isn’t so bad.  They’ll go through eventually.


An officer and four soldiers wearing bulletproof vests, who'd arrived to train or to help, let two cars through simultaneously in two lanes, carefully inspecting almost every car.  The last car on line at 15:00 crossed 25 minutes later.  Eleven more cars followed.  At 15:40 the road had emptied.  We met two more laborers from Jenin, construction workers in Ma’ale Efrayim who’d been driven to the checkpoint by their Jewish employer.


15:40  We left.

We drove to the village of Al Jiftlik in the wake of an announcement published by the International Solidarity Movement:


21st October 2014 | International Solidarity Movement, Nablus team | Jordan Valley, Occupied Palestine On October 20th, the Israeli military destroyed six structures belonging to a family in the village of al Jiftlik, in the Jordan Valley. At approximately 6:00 am, Israeli soldiers destroyed the family home of Mohammed Mousa Mohammed Abohernam, as well as five other buildings, including his family's storage unit …"


People we met showed us the way to the house (the photo on the right shows the rubble).  It’s located in the neighborhood southeast of Highway 57, the road from Damya Bridge to the Hamra checkpoint (and from there, via Nablus, to Netanya).  They demolished the house with the aid of two bulldozers.  A 14-year-old girl who'd escorted us with her mother said the demolition was carried out early in the morning.  Soldiers in ten jeeps provided security; they didn’t allow the family to remove belongings other than school bags and a few clothes.  They demolished a house with two rooms and a kitchen, a separate bathroom, an additional house belonging to one of the sons, and 

also a large sheepfold.  The animals weren’t injured.  The family is now living with neighbors (we saw two tents, not very big).  The mother cried because they’ll have nowhere to live during the winter.  They’d lived in the house for three years.  They said they’d spent NIS 200,000 on it.


17:00  We parted from the family.  (Bottom right-hand photo:  Racheleh saying goodby to the woman whose home was destroyed).  Because it was late we didn’t return to Tayasir to see whether the detained truck had been released.


17:20  Bezeq

They asked how we were and let us through.