Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 26.11.11, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
9:45 Azzun Atma
The checkpoint is vacant. Only one person crossed from the village while we were there. The soldiers spoke with us willingly. Some (most) hadn’t known we existed. One of them, whose background is religious/settlers, told us that his eyes had been opened and he began having doubts after he started active service. We gave him a MachsomWatch card.
A new metal barrier has been installed. Three soldiers present. Few cars passed on the road. 10:25 Za’tara-Tapuach junction – We saw a parked jeep and five soldiers, but no congestion at the checkpoint. Cars went through without delay.
10:45 Ma’aleh Efrayim checkpoint
The checkpoint is empty. A soldier serves as a lookout.
11:30 Beit Dajan (eastern section)
We stopped in the village, at the grocery. We were welcomed cordially. The village isn’t connected to the electric grid; residents use generators. Efforts to connect it have been underway for much too long a time. Rina Tzur and her staff already reported on the issue. We also took the phone number of the council head. We left cards and clothing with them. We stopped at two more Bedouin encampments and left parcels of clothing, books and sweets.
12:05 Tayasir checkpoint
When we arrived we saw three cars awaiting inspection on the other side of the checkpoint. Everything goes slowly. Inspection is two-sided, but more rigorously than on the opposite side, except for an ambulance arriving with lights flashing (which still had to wait at the entrance to the inspection area). After the car or taxi has been carefully inspected, the driver parks it quite far from the checkpoint, and the passengers have to walk to it after being inspected. The result: a long delay.
13:00 Shift change.
Inspections of cars and pedestrians stops for 8-10 minutes. The car at the entrance to the checkpoint when the shift changed waited 15 minutes before it was inspected, which took about 3 minutes, and then waited many more minutes for its passengers after inspection. We asked some of the drivers and passengers waiting for others about the crossing today. Other than the actual waiting, they said there weren’t any problems.
13:45 Hamra, on the way back
One car waiting from the west, two from the east, but with no unusual delays.
14:00 We started going back. On Highway 5 we saw police officers leaving their vehicle, walking toward an olive grove. A father and his son were there, harvesting olives in sacks. The soldiers indicated they were looking for people who’d thrown stones. They briefly interrogated them, then told them to finish and leave. We waited until we saw they weren’t being arrested. They went home with the sacks of olives.