Hamra (Beqaot), Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir
Tapuach Junction/ Za'atra CP - No inspections are being carried out in any direction. Soldiers are in a post overlooking the junction.
Ma'aleh Ephraim CP -- there are no soldiers.
The plots in the Gitit Colony that are offered for rental - are deserted and there are no workers. Is this because somebody thought that it is not right for a colony that received free land (even without paying a rental fee as is usual within the green line) should be doing business by renting it to anybody who is interested, including cheap quotas of water? (See the report on the valley by Hannah Aviram on 8/4, including the link to Amira Hass's article in HAARETZ about the phenomenon of plot-renting by the colonies.)
It is strange: As we usually do, we brought packages of clothes and shoes. When we saw a shepherd on the road, we stopped and gave him the package. In the fields of Gitit, we saw a young man with a herd near him. We talked to him in Arabic and then he answered in Hebrew: I'm Jewish. Where from? From Yitzhar. He was waiting for somebody....
Hamra CP - 10:30
There is practically no traffic. Some of the time there are no cars at all. Those who get here are kept for an inspection of a minute or two.
Guchiya Gate -- closed. An older man is walking in the direction of the gate (that blocks the vehicle entrance) carrying a big sack on his back.
There is an olive grove opposite the colony of Ro'i - that was planted three weeks ago in order to prevent the colony from taking over land that is owned by Palestinians. The seedlings are green and in place. We tried to estimate how much it costs to irrigate all the trees. When they did the planting, a container came with water. How much does water from a container cost?
Near the olive trees there is a beautiful vineyard that belongs to the colony of Ro'i and is growing on Palestinian land (belonging to the same man that planted the olives in defense of his lands). Here there is an irrigation system with water for agriculture that comes from the Mekorot Company at 2.90 per cubic liter. The Palestinian has to pay at least five times as much and does not get flowing water, but water that has to be distributed manually.
Halat Makkhol - We visited A. who was stabbed by his neighbor about a week ago. We could not understand what the fight was about, but we learned how the residents of the Valley (that is to say those in the C area under Israeli military rule)deal with a conflict between neighbors. Clearly they can't think of appealing to the Israeli authorities (the police, for example). They did appeal to the Palestinian police in the nearby A area. The person who did the stabbing was arrested for five days and even before he was tried in court he was given notice that he cannot be in the village for six months. His family will, apparently, have to leave the place (either for economic reasons or because they are ostracized). It would be a good thing if we had such quick and efficient ways of dealing with such things. The stab wound was not so serious, the person who was stabbed has already gone out to herd his flock.
Tyasir CP 12:15
Very few cars. Inspections take 4-5 minutes.
Hamra CP (on the way back) - When we arrived four cars from the east (the Valley) were standing there, and waited for another five minutes until the inspection began. At any given time, the soldiers inspect only the cars going in one direction.
Ma'aleh Ephraim (on the way back) Around the CP several vehicles are parked: two military jeeps, an armored car, a few large shovel-dozers.. It looks as if the CP serves as a parking lot for vehicles that come from the surrounding area. There were a few soldiers behind the buildings but there were no inspections of vehicles.
Tapuach Junction and Za'atara CP -- the roundabout is empty. Two soldiers are waiting in the hitchhiking post to Jerusalem - either doing their job, or waiting for their rides. No Palestinian vehicle was stopped when we passed. We saw the same thing in the inspection post from the direction of Hawwara. .