Beit Ummar, Gush Etzion, Sa'ir, Tarqumiya
West Gush Etzion
We drove on Route 35 (leaving Route 6).
We drove around in the parking lot of the Tarkumiya checkpoint, which is crowded with vehicles. A Palestinian truck was filling cement from a permanent installation and an Israeli truck is waiting on the side for the first one to finish.
We went on to Route 60 and turned left. At the side of the road were 2 unmanned positions and a little later, one position manned by one soldier, alone.
At the entrance to Sa’ir is a manned pillbox.
At the entrance to Beit Ummar stands a manned pillbox.
At the gas station to Beit Ummar we asked the garage attendant bout the military presence there. He says it's every day, most of the days. Only just now had they driven away.
There is a military jeep. We stopped in El Arrub to talk to Ibrahim Abu Hash’hash, the owner of a grocery store located just across the road, in front of the pillbox. El Arrub is inhabited by refugees. Ibrahim's family are from Iraq elManshiya.(Plugot area).
His house is right next to the grocery store, we went to see it. Ibrahim says that there is not a day that soldiers do not come, enter his house, go up to the observation deck on the roof to see if children come to throw stones, which sometimes happens. According to him, the children are 10,11 years old.
Last Sunday, 3 tear gas grenades were thrown by the army into the grocery store, because stones has been thrown. The smell is still noticeable, even after a few days.
Tear gas was also thrown at his home. They tell the children not to throw stones but it does not always help.
From there we drove to Etzion DCO. Nearby in a parking lot, a variety of vehicles, bulldozers, private cars and trucks confiscated from Palestinians.
At the Kfar Etzion junction there was a military van and a pickup truck.
Back through the Lamed He checkpoint, on Route 367.