Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Sun 11.9.11, Afternoon

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Ada H., Rina Z.

Translator:  Charles K.

Kusra– 13:30

People told us they suffer from continued attacks by settlers from Shiloh and the nearby settlements.  About a week ago some hundred olive trees were cut down.  A villager was shot in the thigh.  When they call the army it separates the parties but takes no action against the attackers.  The police don’t help either.

We spoke with Yudit from Yesh Din.  She confirmed that the situation there is terrible.  Yesh Din is in constant contact with them. 

Ma’aleh Efraim checkpoint – 14:00

Soldiers inspect vehicles going in both directions.  When we returned, they were checking only those entering the Jordan Valley. 

Hamra checkpoint – 14:20

Sparse traffic.  An elderly women and her two daughters waited 15 minutes in the oppressive heat for their taxi to cross through the checkpoint.  They live in Amman and are returning home.  It’s easier there – no checkpoints.

One man tells us the Tayasir checkpoint is much worse than the one at Hamra.

On the way to the Gochia checkpoint we notice that the berm preventing access from the Jordan Valley to the West Bank is becoming higher and longer.  It now begins before the Beqa’ot settlement.

Gochia checkpoint – 15:00

The gate doesn’t open by 15:30, which is when it’s already supposed to close.  We phoned the DCO ready room, and then called Zaharan.  Everyone promised it would open – but it didn’t.  That’s what usually has occurred recently – the gate isn’t opened, we telephone and nothing happens.

When I spoke to Zaharan, from the DCO, and pointed out what was going on, he said that two DCO employees would move soon to Beqa’ot and will be able to see firsthand whether the gate is opened.

We talked to one of the brothers of the retarded man who was arrested last week and got lost after he was released.  It turned out that the man, who wasn’t even capable of identifying himself by name, wandered from place to place until he came to Nablus where Palestinian security personnel tried to help him.  At the same time, his family was searching for him.  They located him only the following evening.

Two days later the brother was arrested again on his grazing land, along with another member of the family, both of them 16-18 years old, because, it was claimed, they were not allowed to graze on that land, even though, the brother who spoke with us said, the land belongs to the residents of Tamun.  For the past two years signs have been posted reading “Firing Range – No Entry” along the Alon Road in the northern Jordan Valley (except in the settlements, of course), so that every Bedouin in the encampments and on the grazing lands, is breaking the law 24 hours a day, all year long.  So the claim that they’re grazing in a prohibited area is just an excuse.  The brother of the person who was arrested went to the DCO, but it didn’t help.  He was detained for four hours at the Hamra checkpoint and then released.  Had there been cause to arrest them they would have been turned over to the police.