Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Wed 28.8.13, Afternoon

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Irit Gal and Dafna Banai (reporting)

Translation: Shelly K


We went from house to house to distribute copies of the film “The Lost Valley” to participants in the movie. In Forush Biet Djan we found an especially happy family.  A month ago, Israel had chosen to connect them to the electrical system. You can imagine what a blessing this in 40° heat to be able to use a refrigerator! Air conditioner! Everywhere we visited we felt the joy.


11:00 Hamra Checkpoint; 13:30 Tayasir Checkpoint

There was no traffic. The few that arrived went through after screening identity cards (that in Tayasir were briefly checked). The Maleh Efraim checkpoint was unmanned (9:50 and 16:45).

Gochia Gate

This has been closed for over half a year and cuts the Palestinians off from the West Bank. From everything – studies, services, shopping and other necessities

In Ein El Hillvey, close to Sayed’s tent, we saw that the army had put up a tent camp. At the entrance to the dining room, S’s cow was laying down. The soldiers (recruits), some with long flowing beards, were doing all sorts of embarrassing activities, ridiculous screaming, in the 40° heat during the hottest hours in the afternoon. As we gaze at them, the “expulsion ritual”  commences: “It’s forbidden for you to be here” says the Commander. And then a herd of 20 camels approaches and crosses the path of the recruits at a camel’s pace. The soldiers, very disciplined, don’t even throw a passing glance at the camels, as if this were a scene they were used at home, so busy are they with their war games.


On cruelty and kindness

17:10 Za’tara Checkpoint

As I approached the Za’tara Checkpoint, I saw two women sitting at the bus station east of the square. One was young and the other more mature looking. Possibly mother and daughter. The station is roofed – there is shade and a bench and the two women were resting in the heat of day (37° Centigrade). Suddenly two soldiers passed them. They “took the trouble” of leaving their shaded positions to perform a vital mission – chase the women away from the bus station. With great authority they stood over them and pointed “Out of here”! The younger woman motioned, pleadingly, looking directly at the one soldier and then the other. But for naught. It did nothing to evoke any compassion in the soldiers and once again they motioned the women to leave, this time more aggressively.

The women got up and left.

I witnessed all this from the parking area of the checkpoint. It was unmanned although there were soldiers around, apparently in case of any emergency, for example, two women who might endanger the peace and quiet by sitting in a shaded bus station. Then they (the soldiers) would have had to spring into action.  I stood in back of my car. I leaned on it and stretched my foot. It looked as if I was trying to push it. Settlers and soldiers passed and didn’t look at me. Then, a young Palestinian noticed “Are you pushing your car? He asked. “Do you need help?” and he already went through the fence and was ready to lend a helping hand.