Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Sun 17.4.11, Afternoon
11.15 Hamrah CP
Empty. It is almost noon on a hot day – the people are apparently hidng in their houses or tents.
We met friends from 'Jordan Valley Solidarity,' with guests from France, who invited us to see a new kindergarten which they opened beneath the Peles Base (in the area of the Hemdat settlement). We decided to drive to this second kindergarten which they established – near Maskiyot. The children, who were waiting for the guests from abroad, received us with songs and dances and we found ourselves dancing with the Bedouin children until the real guests arrived. At the end of the presentation there was a problem. The kindergarten, which serves the children of the tent encampment on a volunteer basis, does not have the budget to pay for their trips home, and the children, including a handicapped child in a wheel chair, walk to their distant encampment, accompanied by one of the teachers. But a few days ago, some settlers (or guys from the preparatory military school) waited for them on the road and hit them (kindergarten children!!!).
It was really a very hot day, and the French visitors and I did several turns taking the little children home safely.
We went to visit Abu Saker in Hadidah. His son, Razi, was arrested a week ago (the fourth time this month), by soldiers who were accompanied by settlers from Roei. They claimed that he herded his sheep too close to the settlement. His mother says that the field where he has his herds is one that they have always rented from a resident of Tamoun. In the winter they cultivate it and raise rye. In the summer it is impossible - Israel does not allow it. Razi, usually a friendly fellow, walked among us like a ghost. I have never seen a person in a post-traumatic stress condition before and suddenly I understood what that means. The soldiers took him from his home at 14.30 and held him until midnight at the Peles Base, a distance of about five kilometers from there. He says that during all that time he was handcuffed (he showed us the red marks that still remain on his wrists) and was beaten nonstop. In the end they let him go at midnight and he walked all the way home by himself.
The family claims that the soldiers ' have their eyes on them'; at the CPs and at the Gochiya Gate they always ask the children, "Are you the son of Abu-Saker?' And if the answer is yes, they do not let them go through. Another means of breaking the family's spirit and forcing them to leave their land.
13.20 - Tyasir CP
There is not much traffic at this time and passage is quick. By contrast with other times when we were here, there is no inspection of those going through to area A apart from checking documents. 'If you are normal at this CP, then you are normal', announces one of the soldiers, and what will the Palestinians say?
14.45 - Hamrah CP
Here, too, the passage is quick and at the entrance to Nablus there is no inspection at all. The cars go through on the path at the side and go through the CP without stopping. Still, waiting in the sun until the soldier calls the passengers who were forced to get out of the cars, in the heavy heat, and, after the inspection, waiting for the taxi to arrive – it is hard. The people look agonized when they emerge from the CP with their belts in hand.
16.00 – Ma'aleh Ephraim– manned
We returned early because one of our members had sunstroke and had to get medical care.