Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 5.11.12, Afternoon
Translator: Charles K.
Za’tara checkpoint/Tapuach junction – 11:30
No inspections. We also saw nothing unusual when we returned at 16:10.
Ma’aleh Efrayim checkpoint – 11:45
Two soldiers behind the buildings. No inspections. There were no soldiers when we returned at 16:10.
The cultivated fields between Gittit and Mechora - leased by a resident of Tel Aviv. The activity at the packing house increases from visit to visit. A shipping container has been added (apparently as a storeroom). We wonder whether he received a building permit. Were he a Palestinian, it would have already been demolished. Irrigation sprinklers revolve at midday in the Jordan Valley. The water is sold to Jews cheaply (NIS 4 per cubic meter. I pay twice as much for my garden at home).
Broad plowed fields in front of Mechora.
Hamra checkpoint – 12:15
No vehicles at the checkpoint most of the time.
The checkpoint commander says residents of the West Bank can freely cross in vehicles they own. Palestinian Israelis may cross only from Area A (the West Bank) to the Jordan Valley, but not in the opposite direction. A month ago they told us that it was possible to cross in both directions. Making frequent changes in the rules, without informing the people who go through the checkpoints, is an old, familiar policy. Vagueness and confusion create uncertainty and make planning ahead impossible.
Many signs before the settlement of Bequa’ot announcing a gathering of the Nahal brigade; a route has been opened to the east to the site of the gathering, which isn’t visible from the road.
Next to the settlement of Beqa’ot we met six guys who live in the Jiftlik and work in Beqa’ot. They finished working and are looking for a ride home. They receive NIS 65 for 8 hours of work, beginning at 5 AM. That includes transportation, and no benefits.
Tayasir checkpoint - 14:15
A Palestinian who sued his employer in the Jerusalem Labor Court for not paying his wages can’t get to the court because the DCO refuses to give him a crossing permit to Jerusalem. He asks us to help.
The Palestinians at the checkpoint say that for about two months vehicle owners from the West Bank have been allowed to cross to the Jordan Valley. The soldiers at the checkpoint refused to answer our questions about it.
S., a member of the Darajmeh family, about whom we reported on 23.10, who was issued a demolition order which is in effect an expulsion order from the area, hired an attorney in Israel to file an appeal. Who know how much it will cost him, and how he’ll manage to pay.
Large trucks carrying heavy armored vehicles stand in the fields bordering the Beqa’ot settlement to its north.