Jordan Valley, Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 10.4.11, Afternoon
Translation: Dvora K.
Once again, the gate at the Guchiya CP is closed. Once again, people have to wait for an unnecessarily long time at the Tyasir CP, with the soldiers showing obvious disdain and disregard for the residents. It looks as if they are interested in making life in the area unbearable. All of this has become worse since responsibility was transferred to soldiers from combat engineering. In addition to all this, the students at the military preparatory school in Maskiot continue making trouble for the Bedouin in the area.
Za'atera Junction - 13:00.
There is inspection for those coming from the direction of Nablus. There is no queue. When we returned at 16:45, there were no soldiers.
Ma'aleh Ephraim CP(gateway to the Valley)
There are no soldiers. When we returned at 16.30, they were inspecting Palestinian vehicles from the West Bank, because only residents of the Valley are allowed to enter in vehicles.
We went to the pumping station near Gitit to show our guests the two signs that demonstrate how the presentation of the occupation has developed: An old sign invites those touring the area to a nature preserve, and asks people to be careful with the flora, etc. Near it, a new one, says: "Firing zone. Entrance forbidden!"
We met a few young boys from the neighboring settlements (today marked the beginning of the Passover break); they were taking a hike, and we called their attention to the sign that forbids hiking / touring in the area. They answered in the spirit of the settlers, quoting, ".... and you will erupt to the west and to the east...." ignoring the sign. The truth of the matter is that the sign is not really for them.
The fields that are cultivated by Eyal Levi from the settlement of Na'amah in the south of the Valley (in the area near the pumping station on both sides of the Alon Road) keep growing bigger and bigger every time we visit here.
Hamra CP 13.50
Traffic is thin. Those entering the A area were not inspected at all while we were there. Everybody who wants to go into the Valley has to get out of the vehicle in order to go through inspection including taking off belts and sometimes shoes. One of those going through tells us about the humiliation that he undergoes in his land at the hands of foreign soldiers.
On a sign at the junction, soldiers have written: "Lions of Para, Company B. An Honor!" Definitely an honor.
We visited the tent camp west of Road 578, a little before Maskiot. (That is where, a few months ago, settlers from Maskiot put up a blue tent in order to get rid of a Bedoui tent on land that belongs to the Palestinian from Toubas.) The women told us that a week ago, settlers from Maskiot broke into the area of the camp, entered tents and frightened the women and the children.
Tyasir CP - 14.40
When we arrived a few cars were standing in a queue in both directions, and not a single soldier was seen in the area; no inspection was being carried out. We waited. After a few minutes we saw the soldiers come down to the road from the hut on the hill, and begin to do inspections. The drivers that have come from the Valley say that they had to wait for a quarter of an hour. But from the direction of the West Bank a taxi had been waiting for about an hour (not because of a queue, but because the soldiers did not do any inspections), and a professor from the University of Hebron had waited 40 minutes.
It seems that the combat engineering unit in charge of the CP show deliberate systematic disrespect towards the residents of the area who have to go through the CP every day because it joins the Valley to the West Bank, and especially to Toubas, the urban center of the district.
The gate was not opened until 16.00 which was when we left. It is supposed to be open between 15.00 and 15.30.
During recent shifts of Machsomwatch here (27.3, 29.3, 5.4), the gate was not opened at all, or else it was opened late after we cautioned and repeatedly asked about it. But they have raised the embankment and have deepened the ditch to prevent vehicles and tractors from passing. As noted, this is the only gateway that connects the town of Tamoun and the entire Bedoui 'diaspora' community in the district, with the Valley. And, by the way, those responsible for opening the gate are the combat engineers' unit which is camped near the Tyasir CP.