Maale Ephraim 12:15 – 13:00
A taxi carrying 6 passengers is detained by soldiers on the roadside. The people inside do not know why, the soldiers refuse to explain. Lately this checkpoint has only occasionally been manned by soldiers. Today the soldiers are inspecting every car and many are turned back. According to them these cars are not registered as belonging to the Jordan valley, and only cars from that area are permitted to travel there.
Finally 2 passengers from the taxi are told to descend. They are told that they are to be delayed, being on the list provided by the Israeli security system. One of them works for the Palestine authority, both are from Nablus. They ask the officer why they are being detained, and he tells them to wait. Meanwhile he directs the taxi with the remaining passengers to return to Nablus. That happens after a 2 hour wait. The 2 detainees wait for a further half hour, at the end of which the officer returns their papers and explains that if they don't wish to be detained again, they must go to the the nearest district coordination office and there they will be instructed as to what is required. One of the 2 insists that all his papers ae valid, and he is certain that he is not being sought.
It is a well known method of the Israeli security services to recruit collaborators by exerting pressure on Palestinians in various ways, including delays at checkposts.
A jewish woman emerges from a car with Israeli license plates. She smiles at the soldiers and offers them cake, apologizing that she hasn't brought enough for all of them , "you are wonderful" she says. Before leaving she hands the soldiers a piece of paper. "these three are expected", and she mentions 3 arab names. "don't delay them at the checkpoint".
The walls of the shed used for detainees are high, so one cannot see who is inside. The wall of the shed for pedestrians has also been raised, and the soldiers' water facility has been removed, since it impeded pedestrian passage.
Tayasir checkpoint 13:45-14:30
Lately many phone calls from Palestinians have reported delays of an hour - hour & a half at the checkpoint. Some have complained they were forced to wait in the rain while their cars were being checked. The military unit has recently changed.
Gochya checkpoint 15:00-16:30
The post is meant to open at 1500. B' is waiting on his tractor since 13:30. Meanwhile he shows us a receipt received when he recovered the tractor. B' bypassed the checkpost in July, going from the neighboring village to his lodgings to fetch food and water for his cattle on a day on which the checkpost is closed. The reason he took that route was that thus it was shortened by hours. He was intercepted en route and the tractor was confiscated. He recently managed to raise the money required to release the tractor – 4000 shekels. Since the tractor had not been used for 5 months it necessitated towing and repairs for an additional 700 shekels. He waits patiently for the gate to open, but the soldiers haven't arrived. When the district office was called, it was claimed by the soldiers that the gate has been open for 20 minutes, but in fact the soldiers arrived at 4:30. They open the gate after a thorough examination of his documens, belongings, and the tractor. When the tractor does not start immediately, one of the soldiers calls: "do you expect me to wait for you all day long?"
In the roads of the valley
A number of road blocks directed westward from the valley, which were flattened by rains or inhabitants of the area, have been raised again, apparently by the army.