Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
Hamra (Beqaot), Tue 1.5.12, Afternoon
One of the Jordan Rift Valley checkpoints that prevent direct transit between the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, in addition to Tayasir Checkpoint. Located next to Hamra settlement, on Route 57 and the Allon Road.
Translator: Charles K.
12:15 Bezeq checkpoint
We crossed. Today the soldier guarding the exit isn’t pointing his weapon at the road.
It’s hot! Everything’s hazy, tinted by and smelling of dust.
Construction of another house at the Maskiyot settlement is nearing completion (the one visible from the road).
The huge earthen berm and the ditch behind it are still there. Soldiers on maneuvers west of the road.
The sheep and shepherds seek what greenery still remains.
12:30 Hamra checkpoint
Y., a soldier, approaches, asks who we are, and notes we’re not allowed to cross over the line. “What line?” There’s no line, but we understood what he meant.
The mobile luggage scanner is operating.
12:40 Soldiers in motion. A soldier takes up his post behind the eastern position, resting his weapon on the bags, ready for anything. Y. is sent to the northern corner of the junction (on the right in the photo), and the commander, a first sergeant, stands next to him. We express interest in what’s happening; the sergeant explains “those are the orders,” he has to protect us because we’re Israeli citizens, so he sends the soldiers to take up their posts; he, personally, is protecting us, and for that reason… the checkpoint is closed! No one goes through. He, of course, has played his winning hand. By now 7-8 cars are waiting to the east, and we move beyond the shelter of IDF’s security umbrella. The line of cars goes through.
We meet Dafna Banai and Dalya Golomb. They’re on their way to Hamam el-Malih.
12:30 Six members of Zuba’a’s family (from Farus Bet Dajan) came through the checkpoint on their way home and were happy to see us. We gave them a ride to their home on the ridge northeast of the checkpoint. One of the structures had been blown away by the strong winds.
13:15 We returned to the checkpoint; Dafna and Dalya continued to Hamam el-Malih and the Tayasir checkpoint. As soon as we got out of the car the soldiers began protecting us again, and even placed a plastic barrier at the spot where we usually stand. When we returned to the car they started letting cars through.
13:30 We left.
13:50 Bezeq checkpoint
Before they raised the barrier they asked how we are, whence we came and whither we’re going.