Hamra, Tayasir, Wed 27.1.10, Afternoon
Translation: Bracha B.A.
The entire Jordan valley is green and the furze and Calycotome are already flowering. There are also anemones and alium. The army camps, fences, and checkpoints ruin the pastoral life that could exist here in the Jordan Valley near Tubas and Nablus, without having to stop for a sleepy soldier or for his comrade whose mouth is full of food, taking their time to finally let people pass. The gardens in the "Jiftlik are neglected and the road is still adorned with signs reading "Bring the Oslo Criminals to Justice."
Tayasir Checkpoint, 13:20
The soldiers motioned for us to approach them and didn't know who we are. We drove up to their position. They were eating and they understood why we had come. They opened the gate so that we could turn around and we drove back to the gate of the camp where we stood and watched. It was quiet, and there were a few taxis carrying mostly women and children dressed in holiday clothes. They were taking advantage of the school vacation to travel. The taxis drive through and the passengers are checked in the inspection booth where there is an X-ray machine.
The trucks and taxis that come from the east went through without delay. An army vehicle drives through the checkpoint going west. According to the red signs this is forbidden, but perhaps there is another army camp on the other side.
14:30 – We left and drove towards Hamra Checkpoint. We unloaded winter clothes along the road leading to one of the tent camps. We also passed a driver with a tractor pulling a tank of water and could not believe the price of the water he was carrying.
14:55 Hamra Checkpoint
A truck with a crane is placing metal beams on top of something that looks like a large generator on the concrete area east of the checkpoint. There are two huge army trucks next to it. The two trucks eventually left with noisy squealing of tires. A sergeant asked us to keep away from the construction work for our safety and we backed off.
At 3 in the afternoon a new shift of soldiers arrived. They will have to remain in this cold place until 11 at night. Meanwhile a line of cars has begun to form the east.
The soldiers said goodbye to those who were leaving and took up positions. They did not let the cars pass. We showed them the line that had formed and they went to work. At 15:15 a busload of workers arrived – the only one that we saw.
We left at 15:45.