Hamra, Tayasir, Sun 15.3.09, Afternoon

Edna K, Nettie A, Rina Z. (reporting)

Guest: Lindsey (student from UK)

12:00 Maalei Ephraim
No vehicles.

12:30-12:55 Hamra Checkpoint
A Jenin resident cannot pass in his car to the valley. He submitted a request to change address to Jericho DCO, but only valley residents are allowed to pass in their cars. Our conversation with the DCO did not help. Three youths who finished work at Jiftlik (valley) and are returning home to Salem, descend from their vehicle and cross on foot, even though there is no check in the east to west direction. The soldiers stop checking because of us. They say this is an order from higher up. We contact Yogev from the DCO and he says there is no such order, and he will deal with it, but we don’t want to burden the people waiting so we back off. The check resumes.

13:55-14:05 Tayasir Checkpoint
A captain, company commander, greets us pleasantly. He denies what we were told at Hamra: the order only applies if we interfere with the soldiers’ work. It is a public place, and we have a right to be there. He knows about horrible things done there by soldiers from the Haredi Nahal, who held the checkpoint for years. According to him it is clear to the army command that it would be forbidden to return them to a place where there is no supervision of the soldiers’ behaviour to the Palestinians. Today we did not see the humiliation ceremony, forcing the drivers to raise their shirts and pirouette. Schoolchildren return from school in Tayasir, and descend on foot to Hamam el Maliah – a distance of more than five kilometres. To our wonderment a car bearing the sign "Teachers" waas travelling in the opposite direction. On the way we see electric pylons with wires strung above a Bedouin encampment, for them to see the electricity ( and perhaps get some radiation), but no power supplied to them. We brought sacks of clothes, shoes and toys, and leave something at each encampment that we see on the way. At each stop we are asked "where’s Daphna?"

15:20-16:00 Gochya Gate – the Iron Bar facing Ro’i Settlement
This imaginary gate stuck in the middle of an uncultivated field (which is now flowering magnificently) is even more imaginary during our shift, since we are the only ones to visit it. The soldiers who were to open it did not come, and no Bedouin was trying to pass. We phoned Yogev at the DCO to check why they didn’t come to open, and as Edna prophesied he said that they must know that no one is there waiting. How? Supernatural powers? Perhaps. While we are waiting, a settler vehicle passes, stops, the door opens and we are showered with curses. Prostitutes! Sleeping with Arabsinfo-icon! Etc., etc. Together with descriptions of our mothers’ organs. We were happy that this was all, and they didn’t descend to hit us, since there was no one there to come to our aid.

16:05 Hamra (on the way back)

Two cars from the east, one from the west.

16:30 Maalei Ephraim
No checks on the way out to Zaatra. At the entrance to the Rift Valley, a truck waits a few minutes till he is signalled to come for inspection, even though the soldiers are doing nothing. Nevertheless, they found time to drive us away because we were waiting to see how long they would delay the truck without cause.