Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sun 8.7.12, Afternoon

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Chana E., Rina Z.
  • Translator:  Charles K.


    More on the story of the stolen water wagons – the Bedouin who own them will have to pay a fine of a few thousand shekels to get them back, and also promise not to place them on the grazing lands for two years – or, to put it simply, to relinquish their only source of income for two years. 

    But something positive nevertheless:  the Palestinian Authority compensated them by providing replacement water wagons, and the Tubas municipality provided them an attorney at no charge.


    A family living north of the Ro’i settlement suffers continually from military live ammunition exercises conducted opposite its tent.


    Settlers from Maskiyot stole a donkey last night from K., in the presence of Rami, the security coordinator.  After a round of phone calls to various places, salvation came from the Ma’aleh Efrayim police station and the donkey was returned to its owner.


    Za’tara/Tapuach checkpoint – 13:30

    No inspections.  A soldier is in the tower at the junction.


    Ma’aleh Efrayim checkpoint – 13:45

    No soldiers, nor when we returned.


    A fire spread in the fields next to the abandoned packing house between Gitit and Mechora.  We notified the guard at the entrance to Mechora.


    Hamra checkpoint – 14:05

    38 degrees Celsius.  A minibus with no air conditioning waits for passengers, people going through the pedestrian crossing.  They arrive one by one, putting back on the belts they removed for the scanner.  When it’s full they drive off. 

    Cars driving west, to Area A, aren’t inspected.

    Sparse traffic at this hour; no lines.


    At the K. family’s encampment

    The army continually conducts exercises opposite their tent, across the road.  Last week as well, many soldiers trained there for two days, including using live ammunition.  They’re very frightened, especially the children (four of them, aged 2 – 9).


    At the A. family’s encampment

    M.A. is one of the Bedouin residents of the JordanValleyfrom whom water wagons were taken last month – they took two from him.  He gave us the names of six more people.  They were fined thousands of shekels for placing the water wagons in a firing range.  The entire northern JordanValley, except for the settlements, has been classified as a firing range, entry to which is prohibited, including where the Bedouin live and their grazing lands.

    We spoke to Jamila, from the Association for Civil Rights.  She said the Palestinian Authority compensated everyone whose water wagons had been confiscated and provided replacements.  That doesn’t solve the problem of someone whose water wagon was taken in the middle of a boiling-hot day:  they spilled out the precious (literally) water and he can’t water his sheep today and the following days, until he’s compensated.  But it’s a good thing that the Palestinian Authority provides assistance.  The Israeli authorities only harass and rob them.

    She told us that the Civil Administration notified them that in addition to fines amounting to thousands of shekels, they’ll have to sign a document in which they commit not to repeat the “criminal act,” i.e., bringing water wagons to the grazing lands – or, to put it simply, they’ll relinquish their only source of income.

    The Association for Civil Rights wrote the Civil Administration, the military commander and others a letter of complaint about this policy, but hasn’t yet received a reply.


    Tayasir checkpoint – 16:20

    Sparse traffic.  A car with Israeli license plates isn’t allowed to cross to the west.  The two female passengers are dressed like secular people; they cross in a taxi.


    At K’s encampment

    Last night about 10 PM they saw the vehicle belonging to Rami, the security coordinator of the Maskiyot settlement, parked opposite their tent.  Three guys emerged and took their donkey.  They were afraid to intervene.  When they called Rami today he denied it.  We called various people who might help:  the DCO, Yesh Din, and finally a call by B., K’s son, to the Ma’aleh Efrayim police station got results.  Slightly over an hour later we received a call that the police arrived and the donkey was returned.  K. didn’t want to file a complaint even though the police officer suggested he do so.

    A donkey costs NIS1000.


    Za’tara checkpoint – 19:15

    An Israeli traffic police vehicle alongside the road to Huwwara, next to a Palestinian vehicle.  The driver got a ticket and a fine of NIS750 because the child seated next to him was too young to occupy that seat.


    A female soldier and dog in the fenced area.  A vehicle with four guys was sent there.  The guys are standing at a distance while the dog sniffs the car.  Because it was late we didn’t wait to see how long it took and how it ended.