Hamra, Tayasir, Wed 20.5.09, Afternoon
Translation: Devorah K.
The army is again using the Valley as a playing field at the expense of the residents -- military tents are spread out every place, tanks, flags, soldiers in training.
At the Tyasir CP at 1:45, soldiers are inspecting everybody who wants to go through from the area of Nablus to the area of the Valley, and those going in the opposite direction. Those going through have to obey all the soldiers' instructions, including inspecting documents, showing their stomachs, having bags checked and honesty checked by means of a series of questions. As always, the driver lets the passengers out at a great distance from the inspection area and they are forced to walk. In a few cases very small children or very old people remained in the car. Every time that happened, the soldiers warned the drivers that this was the last time because this is against the rules.
"Next time, I'll let you wait for an hour, and then you'll remember to let the child out of the car," says one of the officers to the driver who left a toddler in the car even though he took care to let the other passengers out beforehand (two women and three little children). A number of cars were turned back because only cars belonging to residents of the Jordan Valley can drive to the Jordan Valley. Visitors are not allowed to drive in their own cars. And Palestinians are allowed to drive only the cars that are registered in their name.
In at least one case the driver was sent to the Hamra CP, which is also between Nablus and the Jordan Valley "because you can only leave from there."
"Let them through, they don't have anything on them," says the commander to one of the soldiers doing the inspection. He is referring to five children between the ages of five and eight.
3:15 The iron gate opposite the settlement of Ro'i is locked and a jeep with soldiers is parked nearby. This is one of the few hours of grace during the week when the residents are allowed through in vehicles.
We meet a friend who lives opposite, near Humsa. He is not allowed to go through here even when the gate is open, because half a year he lives in Jiftlik, a village nearby, but then he does not have the right to be included in the short list. They are forced to transport their containers of water via the long and expensive way round, through the Hamra CP. On Tuesday morning, he tells us, his neighbors waited at the gate for three hours and the soldiers did not get there to open it. Two weeks ago, the soldiers came to the tent encampment at night and made a lot of noise. They ran over a sheep with their jeep and when the residents threatened to complain, one of them said: "no problem, go and complain." They complained to the civil administration and gave them the licence number of the jeep and a description of the soldiers. Nothing happened.
At the Hamra CP at 4:00, the soldier announces that he has instructions to close the CP because of our being there. "What do you want... Arabs go through here without any problems." Afterwards, they receive instructions via radio not to close the CP. One of the taxi drivers tells us how last week he drove a bride in his car. She was dressed and made up for her wedding. The soldiers wanted her to get out like everyone else, to go through the turnstile, and she did not agree to do this because of the dress, and in general. As a punishment they sent her to the end of the queue. An extra half an hour.
There are ten cars in the inspection queue in the direction of Nablus, and six cars in the direction of the Jordan Valley.
One of the soldiers is standing near the concrete hut and waves to the drivers. That is the way he signals them to come forward. Here, too, the inspections are like those at Tyasir.
Here, too, the people approach the inspection area hesitantly and fearfully. They do not know what kinds of soldiers they will find here today. Here, too, some cars were turned back.
A soldier instructs a taxi driver to take down a valise that is tied to the roof of the car, to put it on the ground and to show everything that there is in it.