Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah), Mon 28.10.13, Morning
* Two young shepherds from El Malekh were detained for seven hours, handcuffed and blindfolded, at the Tyasir CP on instructions from a person responsible for security in one of the settlements in the region as a punishment for disobeying him. The people in charge of security are civilians (not soldeirs) who are paid by the local authorities and they have no legal authority beyond the fence of the settlement. The fact that causes concern is that military units in the area obey them and carry out punitive actions and acts of terror against the local population. Is this on instructions from higher- ups? How high? Or is this a local initiative?
* At the Tyasir CP they warned us that they will close the CP if we don't go away immediately, apparently because of the political opinions of the CP commander (as he expressed it). A few years ago the the Legal Advisor of the government denounced this custom and forbade its implementation.
* Preparations for the visit of the Palestinian Prime Minister are being made in the Village of Makhoul, which was destroyed by IDF Bulldozers over a month ago.
* On Road 5 from the Barkan Industrial Zone, sewage is flowing into the ditch at the side of the road. The road to Salfit from the Ariel Junction - is open.
Zatara/ Tapuach Junction 10.05 - Inspection posts are not manned. On the rise at the beginning of Road 505 in the east, near the military observation post, two soldiers (a man and a woman) are talking with two men who are standing at the side of the road.
Ma'aleh Ephraim CP - 10.20 - the posts were not manned when we came back either. The fields that have been rented to the Gitit colony - are cultivated only in part. When we returned a Palestinian herd was grazing in the fields west of the road between Gitit and M'chora that have not been cultivated since last year. There is a tail end of an old road that is now barred. Nearby there is a sign warning against entering Area A. This is the road that connects the Valley with Beth Jan and Nablus, and it was closed to traffic many years ago, apparently as part of the policy of cutting the valley off from the other parts of the West Bank by piling up difficulties in transportation.
Hamra CP - 10.40 For several months restrictions were eased on vehicle passage in this CP. People did not have to get out of the cars in order to be inspected in the pedestrian CP. Now for about a month, they are making passengers get out of their vehicles and forcing them to be inspected separately. These are unpleasant inspections that extend the time it takes to go through the CP, But this does not apply to all the passengers because the military policewoman is the one who decides
who can go through in the car and who is to be sent for inspection outside the car. The CP commander explained that her decisions are based on her impression (suspicious or un-suspicious) and on chance. .
The local population is never notified about changes in the regulations of passage through the CPs. It is more convenient for the occupation to have them uncertain about what will happen and not knowing how to organize their day.
Two soldiers run to the west, follow (with their eyes) a truck that is parked in the fields of the Village of Parush Beth Jan, west of the CP.
The village is still in ruins. Two men are organizing things for the reception of the Prime Minister of the Palestinian authority, Ramy Hamdalallah, who will visit the wrecked village this afternoon. Under a small improvised shelter, ten plastic chairs were set up. That is how the Prime Minister will be received.
Tyasir CP - 12:15 Two soldiers approached us. We are in the car with our flag. This is more or less the dialogue that we had:
- Who are you?
- We are Machsomwatch. Are you acquainted with it?
- No. What is it? We explain that it is a women's organization for human rights, etc.
- You must leave this place immediately. This is a closed military area. We are closing the CP until you go away (the CP is empty of vehicles in both directions).
- This isn't a closed military area.
- Look at the sign behind you (he meant the sign that says: 'slow down, CP').
- We just went through the Hamra CP and they accepted us courteously. We have been coming here regularly, for years. Do you have a written order?
- I came here yesterday and I have made a decision.
- You sound angry.
- If I weren't in uniform now, I would .... (he did not go into detail). The two of them turned their backs to us and went back to their post. We waited for some vehicle to come to the CP for inspection and then we left so as not to harm the Palestinians who are waiting. In the meantime, we called the sergeant of the CPs at the DCO, There was no answer. We left a message in the DCO advanced command post. We wanted to leave a complaint on the 'humanitarian' telephone but they had no time to talk to us.
A family in the area of the Maskit colony told us that on Sunday a week ago (20/10/13) at five p.m., two boys (18) of the family were returning with sheep at the end of a day of grazing. At the junction that turns to Maskit, about 300 meters outside it, the security person demanded that they sit on the road and wait for him until he returns. The boys waited but when night fell they were frightened and went home. It is not clear what the sheep did all this time, without a shepherd.
On the next day at dawn, the man arrived in one of the encampments, reinforced with soldiers in two jeeps. He came to look for the boys and to punish them because they had disobeyed him. They had already left with the herd. Their parents looked for them and in the end they were found and came back at 9:00 a.m. The soldiers handcuffed them and blindfolded them and held them in detention at the Tyasir CP all day long in this condition. They did give them water. One of the fathers rang up Buma asking for help and perhaps thanks to his help after seven hours, they freed them -- at 4:00 p.m. and the soldiers returned them still blindfolded to the junction.