Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir

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Ravital Sela, Rachel Hayyut (photographing, reporting) Translator: Charles K.
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

13:30  Bezeq checkpoint.  We crossed.


Winter!!!  Rain. The photo shows a rainbow above Ein el Bideh.


Alon Road – Highway 578

At the junction west to Tayasir we met with M. to give him what he’d spent on plastic sheeting to cover the tents donated by the Red Cross after the buildings were demolished (Dafna’s report, “The big storm – the children of Umm Jamal are exposed to the rain – help protect them”, 7.1.15).  We entered the family’s tent, they gave us tea, we spoke briefly.  There were also two children, in the fifth and eighth grade.  The older boy told Ravital that he’d been arrested at the checkpoint, and that they’re afraid to graze in the wadi to their west.  He proudly showed us the lambs he’s raising.  He told us about Rina and Dafna’s visit.


We also understood that most of the land in the area where they live and graze belongs to the church.  They pay NIS 50/dunum.  Someone from Tayasir collects the money.  So the question arises, how do church lands under occupation become firing ranges?


We’d learned about the church’s ownership in the past when settlers from Maskiyot took over the tents of the family living south of the junction, chased away the people, fenced a large area with barbed wire and even tried to attack us (report dated 9.11.10).


M’s mother told us the strong winds blew away her kitchen.


14:10  We parted from the family in heavy rain, made our way through the mud.  M’s mother escorted us to the road, worried we’d slip.


A great deal of mud has been swept onto the road to Tayasir, which is filled with potholes.


The hills and slopes have been washed and appear taller and more prominent than ever.


The flocks of sheep enjoy the new grass.


14:20  Tayasir checkpoint

Light traffic.  The rain doesn’t stop.  A drawn rifle asks “What have you there?”…”Going and coming back?”


The car which had burned there on Friday is parked in the bay where vehicles are detained.  The asphalt under it had melted, the license plates have been removed.

An innocent question:  Could the checkpoint not have had a fire extinguisher?


14:40  We left.


Alon Road – Welcome damage to the earthen berm blocking passage between the eastern and western Jordan Valley.


15:00  Hamra checkpoint

The construction to prevent mud flowing onto the road has been successful.  The junction and road are clear.  They’re being washed by the rain.  A large bulldozer stands within the checkpoint area.

Eleven cars wait to the east.  The fact that drivers are standing outside their cars indicates they’ve been waiting a long time.

The delay is due to a large military vehicle (a paddy wagon) waiting to transport the morning shift.  The soldiers creep along, laden with what they use when they sleep, slowly get in the vehicle, and it drives off.  Everyone who had been waiting in both directions then crossed within fifteen minutes.  The first person on line had waited 40 minutes.


A soldier emerged from the paddy wagon to ask what we were doing here.  He seemed to be deciding how to respond and then said goodbye and left.


15:20  The junction emptied of cars.  Only the ginger cat and the checkpoint’s soldiers remained.  We left.


15:45  Bezeq.


The usual questions:  Whence? Whither?  And we drove off.