Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir, Tue 30.10.12, Afternoon
Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
- Signs that read: "Firing Range" are posted throughout the Jordan Valley, especially near Bedouin encampments to justify the planned eviction of the Bedouin from these areas.
- Painted concrete blocks at the Hamra Checkpoint
- Vehicles passing through the Hamra Checkpoint
11:30 – Hamra Checkpoint
We passed through the checkpoint as usual. The guards were in their positions, with most of their weapons pointed at the road.
The Alon Route
There is a new building under construction on the hill beneath the settlement of Tomer. It looks like an agricultural shed. We will follow up on it. We saw soldiers' tents in the training area next to the road. The tents were silver-colored, possibly covered with plastic against the rain. The battery is in place and the gates are closed.
12:15 – Hamra Checkpoint
It is hot! The concrete blocks have been painted bright orange, green, and yellow. There are new flags flying belonging to the military police and the engineering corps, and Israeli flags decorated with fringes. There is litter on the side of the road and a smell of urine near the covered waiting area. There is a lot of traffic going west – vans with workers are returning from work, and trucks loaded with merchandise. Today, as opposed to the usual routine, vehicles drive up to the checkpoint in a line without waiting to be waved through by a soldier. The traffic going east consists mostly of taxis carrying passengers and luggage. The portable baggage check machine is operating. One of the drivers complains that this procedure is unnecessary. Men greet us as they emerge, fastening their belts. Traffic is unusually heavy today after the Eid Al Adha holiday.
A young man from the Bikot settlement changed his route and stopped next to us to talk. He teaches in an elementary school in the Valley and is on his way home. He says that when he was a child the Jordan Valley was part of a settlement project, and he now understands that the settlements are problematic.
We left at 13:00.
13:30 – Tayasir Checkpoint
An Israeli ambulance is parked behind the checkpoint with its red lights flashing. Apparently a construction worker at the Mahola settlement had an accident, and they are now waiting for a Palestinian ambulance or for permission to pass through. The soldiers asked us not to go up to the position. We went up anyway. We saw that emergency equipment (a stretcher and fire extinguisher) had been added and that it belonged to Palhod 96 of the Kfir Battalion.
Meanwhile the ambulance has approached and parked behind the checkpoint. There was very little traffic. We left at 13:50.
14:15 – We passed through the Bezek Checkpoint and the guards greeted us, asking how we were doing.