Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir
12:20 – 15:30
We drove through the Bezek Checkpoint at 12:20.
The green vegetation is prominent all along the Alon Route (578). The herds of sheep and goats are enjoying the grass. The occupation is evident everywhere – a flaw in the lovely landscape.
We saw the destruction at the home of a family northeast of the Tabatz Junction. We met the children, who came towards us barefoot and hungry. We left them a blanket and some clothing. We did not see any adults. We saw the damage done by the dirt embankment along the road, which separated the road from the fields.
12:50 – Hamra
Seven soldiers are present. There is a lot of traffic of workers' buses, trucks, and cars, as well as pedestrians in both directions.
There are three huge trucks, carrying two muddy bulldozers and a backhoe.
They arrived from the north and turned eastward at the Hamra Junction. We wonder if they have come from some demolition mission and if they are headed towards yet another such mission.
We left at 13:40.
14:00 – Tayasir
There were seven to ten soldiers, wearing speckled hats and no helmets. An Israeli car arrived at the position on the road. There was a delay and soon a line of cars formed. At last the car passed followed by those that had been waiting. This time the soldiers at the checkpoint did not approach us. A van which arrived carrying workers returning from work in the settlement of Almog is meticulously checked. A man was sleeping in the back. One of the soldiers checked his ID and the van continued on their way. A white van drove up to the position on the road. A young man got out without having his ID checked. We saw the driver give him cigarettes. Then the van continued on its way. The young man was checked and was then made to sit on the stairs that lead to the place where pedestrians were once checked. One of the soldiers had a rifle behind him. (Now, writing the report, I realize we should have asked the soldiers why the young man was being held. It's a shame we didn't ask.
In the valley there was no cell phone reception. Later when we could call no one answered any of the numbers we called to ask about the young man.
We left at 14:50.
About 30 meters south of the road that passes beneath the settlement of Rotem we saw four white SUVs with military license plates, covered with mud. Two soldiers sat in each one. When we stopped to look they pulled away and drove westward.
We crossed the Bezek Checkpoint at 15:30.