Hamra (Beqaot), Ma'ale Efrayim, Za'tara (Tapuah), Sat 18.8.12, Afternoon
Translator: Naomi G.
Once again we get the feeling that the problems of the Palestinian populations are getting lost in the maw of the well-oiled occupation machine. The wrong-doings haven’t lessened, but nowadays, they do not “reach” the checkpoints, and therefore we can’t observe them on our watches.
10:40 Eliyahoo Gate
Two cars with yellow plates are waiting to enter Israel.
There are no blockages/checking from Israel to the occupied territories, one just drives on.
No soldiers or police.
11:12 Beit Furik Checkpoint
Empty as well.
12:20 Hamra Checkpoint
3 booths, 6 soldiers, 2 lanes, a truck for checking suspected objects and a large canopy which covers the checkpoint.
Dozens of men, women and children are waiting while the car which drove them from Nablus, zone A, is being inspected. The inspection is fast, two minutes and they are on their way.
A Taxi, a private car and another taxi arrive one after the other; the trunks and the drivers’ papers are being checked, and the passengers are being inspected in a special room. Meanwhile two soldiers arrive and try to find out who we are. They never heard about Machsom Watch.
A car and a tractor which came from Hamra, and are going west of zone A, pass without inspection, following a hand signal to move on.
We were here around 20 minutes; the passages seemed fast and we saw no delays.
13:10 Tayasir Checkpoint
Two soldiers. Deserted.
After a few moments 3 cars arrive, wanting to pass to Tubas, in Zone A, and they are being checked. Thoroughly. Why this difference between Hamra and Yayasir? To this day no one has been able to explain it to us.
A car arrived on the other side; the passengers descend and were checked at the inspection room. So were the driver and his car.
We waited 10 more minutes, no traffic, and drove away.
13:50 Hamra Checkpoint again
In addition to the soldiers there is now an army vehicle and a police Jeep (we have never seen police here. They must have been summoned. They are checking a driver of an Israeli car that came from zone A, he looks like an Israeli-Arab). After several minutes the army vehicle continues to zone A.
Otherwise, here too, we witnessed a fast passage of pedestrians and cars, with no delays.
14:20 Ma’ale Efrayim
One soldier in the guard tower; no soldiers on the road.
14:30 Za’tara/Tapuach Checkpoint
2 soldiers in the guard tower (pillbox), no soldiers and no police on the road.