Tayasir, Tue 4.10.11, Afternoon

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Rachel S., Rachel H. (reporting)

Translation: Bracha B

We crossed the Bezek Checkpoint at 14:10.

It is less hot. We picked up a soldier who was hitchhiking at the Bardala Junction.  He was heading towards the Peles army base, and we did as well, so we wanted to get a spotted flag with the slogan "Spotted Thinking" written on it.  And to hear about the brigade's work plan.  The soldier is about to be discharged from the army in another four months and had already had enough.  He was in the Border Patrol and was now in the Kfir Brigade.   He has a child and the army no longer interests him, but he has friends who "arrest people together and eat together."    We left without getting a flag, but we learned that there were now new recruits who were beginning their training.  The entire base is lined in front with mounds of dirt and targets for shooting.  There is a sign that says, "We're guarding our home."

14:45 – Hamra Checkpoint

A torn Israeli flag and the flag of the Engineering Corps are flying.  We were told to stand back because we were disturbing the soldiers where we were. There is light traffic.  A taxi, car, and people holding their belts (after being checked) are coming out and greet us.  And someone from Zuba's family sends regards to Dafna.   A couple from the Jiftlik originally from Bethlehem had spend the day in Nablus and were interested in our tags and asked what we were doing.    The husband arrives with the car and greets us and invites us for coffee.  We said we would come another day and buy dates from him.   Cars going west pass without being checked, and an Israeli van with a man and woman in civilian clothing crosses to Area A.   

Alon Road- The batteries are still in place west of the road.  Construction is still going on at the settlement of Maskiot.   There is a blue tent at the southern end of the new street.  

Tayasir Checkpoint – 15:45

There is a pleasant breeze blowing and a lot of squills are in flower.  There is no one in sight and we approached the position.  A soldier approaches us and asks if we need help, and reminds us that we have to abide by the rules, not disturb, and not antagonize.   There was no one to antagonize and we went up to the position.   There was very little traffic.  A cement mixer came from the west and a hay truck from the east.    A taxi driver signals us to come over and stops next to the spikes.   The driver tells us that everything is OK, but that last night after dark a Druze from the Liaison and Coordination Administration had made a lot of problems and caused delays.

At 16:00 we began to think about leaving when the shift changed.  An officer arrived sloppily dressed and armed with helmet and vest and told us rudely to "get out of here.  It's forbidden for you to be here!"    He continu8ed to walk up to the position by the road.  Three other soldiers arrived.  We continued to observe the shift change that took 15 minutes or so, and meanwhile three taxis were waiting. 

The officer approached us again and issued rude threats at us, saying he would close the checkpoint if we did not leave.  We waited until three taxis had crossed and then left at 16:10.

We saw a herd of camels moving westward along the road leading down from the checkpoint – not a couple of camels here and there but a large herd.

We crossed through the Bezek Checkpoint at 16:25.  There were long lines of trucks and cars.