Ma'ale Efrayim, Shomron Crossing, Tayasir, Wed 9.3.11, Afternoon

Shaun (a visitor), Karin L., Gila P. (reporting)

 Natanya translating.

13.30 The Shomron crossing. The traffic flows and so also at the crossroads of Za’tara/Tapuach in all directions. The rain pours down and the wind is strong and there are hailstorms all the way up to Ma’aleh Ephraim and the Jordan valley.

14.30 The checkpoint of Ma’ale Ephrayim does not seem to be manned. The valley is green. There is little traffic except for taxis and trucks in both directions.

15.30 The checkpoint of Tayasir.   In the direction of Tubas are two trucks and cars. The drivers wait for the sign and go through.  In the direction of the Jordan valley people alight from the cars and are checked. A taxi waits for passengers who are being checked. One of them describes with his hands how his belt is checked. A Palestinian driver who waits for his passengers comes up to us. “Now it is OK. In the morning there were problems. Yesterday afternoon I waited an hour and a half. Today the soldiers are good. If the soldier is good there are no problems. If the soldier is bad it is hard.  If they see that I am talking to you they make problems for me”.  A short distance away a soldier speaks in a friendly way to a Palestinian and shakes his hand as they part (this is not a usual phenomenon). When we come closer to hear the conversation we see a young captain with the face of a boy. He says that in the morning and afternoon buses go through with pupils and teachers and are not checked. He says that the buses come from the direction of Nablus. They are only delayed “when there are things that should not be. Then there is nothing to be done and they must wait a long time.”Not long ago they caught hunters with rifles. “That is as if I would wander round Tel Aviv with my rifle.” ( Truly a rare sight).  Karin again remarks as always on the paradox revealed between the red sign which says that this is Area A which is forbidden to Israelis and the presence of soldiers inside the area.

16.30 Checkpoint of Hamra/Beqaot when we go back. There is nothing worthy of note except for the fact that the journey takes place on occupied land.