Hamra, Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Thu 21.5.09, Afternoon

Observers: 
Daphna B., Yifat D. (reporting)
21/05/2009
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Afternoon
Translation: Devorah K.

 
At the Ma'aleh Efraim CP at 12:22, as always there is racial segregation. Residents who own cars with yellow licence plates are not inspected, while those whose cars have white licence places, the original residents of the region, are obliged to stop for inspection by a representative of the owners of the yellow ones. The representative forces them to get out of the vehicle, to open the trunk, and other parts of the car and to present various documents that were given them by that same foreign culture.

 
The Tyasir CP at 13:10, which is on almost the only road between two big regions of the occupied territories, is closed between nine at night and four thirty the next morning.

The representative asks a man of 58, "Where do you live? How old are you? Where are you coming from?" All of this in bad Arabic. The people have trouble understanding. And he asks other people - "Is this one your daughter?" People's possessions fall out of their hands because of the stress and the embarrassment. Those wearing uniforms sit in air-conditioned huts - the natives who got out of the cars at a distance from the CP are standing there waiting to be called. Sometimes there is a little boy who was taken out of the car. The drivers have to undress from far away, and to turn around in place. The soldiers push their hands into the bags of all of them -- children and women, and old people and men. A man of 70 is asked "What's your name?" And the name is written in the document that the soldier holds in his hand.

All around the CP there is a big military base, firing areas, skeletons of rotting APCs.

 
Gochya GateThe gate is opposite the settlement of Ro'i; it wa supposed to block the passage of people from the encampments in the area, so as to banish them quietly. We arrived at 14:22. As noted, this CP is opened only for half an hour twice a day, three times a week (because of pressure from the Red Cross). CP soldiers who are supposed to open it, usually come late. And only a blessed few who have permits of passage, sometimes wait for hours, and then give up and go away. So today there is a jeep half an hour early. Four people and among them a pair of old people are waiting on a tractor in order to go through. The soldiers have actually come for some other reason but they would have to come back soon to open the CP, so they have stayed here. They are sitting in the air-conditioned vehicle and they say to us: "Only from three o'clock. Those are the rules. There are laws in the sector and we carry them out." And when it is exactly three o'clock, their commander gets out of the jeep and waves in the direction of the tractor -- come on! We went to visit friends. When we came back, we passed near the same CP. The time was now 16:10 and we saw three tractors and people sitting in their shade. There is no army jeep. The drivers of two of the tractors say that they are on the list; they went through in the morning, and now the soldiers did not let them through. The third tractor driver says that he arrived a little before three thirty and the soldiers were not there any longer. There were many telephone calls to various representatives and at 4:50 the jeep came back, allowed one of the tractors to go through (after a long discussion) and indicated to the other two that they should not even try to approach. They drive away from there with heavy hearts. The road home has lengthened by a number of hours. Hamra CP at 17:03It takes the soldiers five minutes to inspect a car. You can see that they are not trying to do it quickly. To the people they shout instructions roughly and make other humiliating remarks. There are nine soldiers at the CP - four are doing the inspection and another five stand around us for 30 minutes. "I also want to love Arabsinfo-icon; I just don't know why," says one of them. Pedestrians go around the hut because in it there is a big container of water from which the soldiers take water wastefully, so many birds come to drink the water that was spilled and two (dog)cubs that the soldiers are feeding are also running around. The matter of the water: In Tyasir we saw a soldier running with a giant bag of ice to cool the voices of the soldiers. And after that we visited friends who, although they live near their own well, have to travel everyday (a very long way because all the roads are blocked) to bring water because M'korot fenced off the well. At 18:05 we stopped near a surprise CP set up by the Israeli police and the IDF, on the road near the blocked entrance to the village of Kussarin. The soldier points his rifle and looks through the eye-piece at every Palestinian car that passes and stops some of them. Despite the fact that Jewish cars go through here, the policeman only stops the Arabs and gives them tickets on all kinds of little things. He is also angry at us and although we did not do anything against the law, he also gave us a ticket.