Hamra, Jalama, Tayasir, Tue 6.4.10, Afternoon
“Are you Daphna?” we are asked by a Palestinian passing through Tayasir Checkpoint.
15:20 – soldiers still have not arrived. There is an observation point, and they apparently saw that there is no demand for their services at this hour. We also left.
The virgin hill landscape accompany us to Hamra – spectacular. As we reach the hothouses and the verdant settlements facing the poor and sad looking Bedouin encampments – the landscape beauty is no longer soul satisfying. Again we encounter annoying acts of man – earthen mounds to prevent passage.
15:40 Hamra Checkpoint
A woman soldier comes over and warns us not to photograph (“forbidden”) and says that she is from the Sting Unit. A soldier comes over and takes her away from us.
Afternoon – shift change. Coming and going, and meanwhile, till the ceremony and exchanges of greetings are over, nine cars wait in the blistering Jordan Valley heat to travel eastward. Quietly.
16:00 – most of the cars have passed by now. Transit of vehicles is in both directions simultaneously. From the west (the West Bank) families with small children, Bedouin, some of them from villages around Jiftlik and others from Yatta and down to Hebron. At Jiftlik there are 450 huts and lean-tos. Recently the army has destroyed some on the contention that Bedouin have moved in who are not “locals” (not locals?). Alongside the road taxis wait for passengers who are undergoing checks at the checkpoint, or for random passengers. They fill up and go. We chat with the drivers and get the impression that it is preferable to keep conversations with us short. No complaints. Preferable only to say good things. And so “today the soldiers are okay,” and somebody adds: “when you are here everything is okay.” We learn that the trip to Yatta takes two and a half hours. En route they encounter an IDF checkpoint and two Palestinian Authority checkpoints. This holds them up. Some of the villages are linked to the electric grid, but only for a few hours a day. As much as we saw, the check of pedestrians takes a short time.
16:55 Tayasir Checkpoint
17:15 – on our way home we stop by signs put up by European Union missions who are setting up infrastructure for the locals, like hothouses, etc. and two beautiful Bedouin girls stop next to us to ask for a donation. We don’t have. No matter, they say, next time...