גוכיה, חמרה (בקעות), מעלה אפרים, תיאסיר, יום א' 7.8.11, אחה"צ

Observers: 
Riva B., Rina Z. (reporting)
07/08/2011
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Afternoon

Gochia gate was not opened this afternoon.Entry and exit from Yatma and kabalan villages, east of the Zaatara junction, were blocked by military vehicles who removed anyone who approached.

Cows, confined in the Basalt base military camp near Hamam el malik because of breaches in the fence, are not returned to their Bedouin owners, who are afraid to approach the base.

Laborers complain that since Ramadan started their crossing through Eyal passage takes longer than usual: 45 minutes instead of 10. Considering the fact that they are fasting, they have enough difficulty working, and the delay at the passage compounds their hardship. 

13:45 Maale Ephraim checkpoint

The soldiers permit passage of vehicles only if the owner and the driver are registered as residents of the valley.

14:10 Friendship house  at the Giftlik

We brought an electric fan, sent by Dafna, to the volunteers suffering from the valley's heat.
We also met people selected who were suddenly prevented by the Intelligence Services from working at the settlements, for unknown reasons, and we had them sign a petition to the High Court of Justice.

14:40  Hamra checkpoint

Sparse traffic.

15:00  Gochia gate

Thje gate was closed. We called the military commander, the District Coordination Office and the humanitarian center – to no avail. No local inhabitants tried today to pass this gate - which opens 3 times a week for half an hour, morning and afternoon – knowing it is pointless to try. Bypassing the closed gate has also become impossible because of high earth walls which were raised along the roads. Obviously the idea is to eventually annex the Jordan valley, to separate it from the West Bank, and to make the lives of the locals unbearable, hoping to remove as many of them as possible.

15:45 – Tayasir checkpoint

Also little traffic.
There we met K., who lives near the Maskiot settlement. Two days ago 2 of his cows entered the military base at Hamam el malik, and he worried they were going to die of thirst. However, he didn't dare to approach the base, and so we spoke to soldiers, who said there were many more cows in the camp, and they would gladly be rid of them.
Eventually K. was permitted to enter the camp and chase away all the cows, including his own. We did not wait for the completion of the task, but K. was very grateful.
Had he been able to speak to the soldiers on an equal basis instead of being scared of them, the problem would have been solved without our intervention.

17:35 the entrance to the villages of Yatma and Kabalan was blocked, as mentioned above, by an number of military vehicles, and when we approached we were roughly chased away by a soldier. We then moved to Zaatara junction, and were told by inhabitants of Yatma that they were prevented from going home; no one knew why.