It is almost two weeks since the beginning of the war in Gaza, the sixth day since the invasion of the Strip by ground troops. We are also in the middle of the Ramadan Fast and in the middle of a hot summer.
Zaatara CP 9.40
There are no inspections. A soldier stands at a post in the bus stop in the direction of Jerusalem and in the tower over the junction.
Ma'aleh Ephraim CP
A military jeep is parked near the CP. Six soldiers are doing war maneuvers in a built-up area: All of them with weapons ready, are hiding behind walls of the CP. From time to time they jump out.
A new post has been set up at the entrance to the Alon Road 578 in the direction of the Valley. It is not manned.
Hamra CP 10.15
There are very few vehicles. There are no queues.
This CP is always closed except if the army opens it for maneuvers. Having no alternative, the residents have to go through here by finding unusual ways to go around it endangering both the vehicle and the passengers.
The residents' legal plea against the order of the civil authorities to destroy the entire village will be heard in a month. Memo: about half a year ago the army destroyed all the buildings used for dwellings and for the sheep. Only after more than a month and with the help of various organizations, were the buildings (made of cloth and tin) rebuilt. The residents are afraid of what the judges in Jerusalem may decide. If they do not confirm their plea, where will they live and how will they make a livelihood?
A. told us that a year ago he went to pick aqub, a wild thorny plant that serves as food. And then it turned out that the Authority of the Nature Preserves declared it a protected plant. Inspectors for the Authority fined him NIS 2000 (the daily wage in the Valley is NIS 60-70 per day) plus imprisonment for two weeks in a prison in Israel. He says that all of this was done without any appeal to a court. D., a young fellow who has been working for several months as an agricultural worker in the Moshav Na'ama in the south of the Valley earns NIS 60 for a workday of eight hours, in the nurseries where the heat and the humidity are intolerable!That is a third of the minimum wage. It is important to note here, that the colonists, who are citizens of Israel, are obliged to abide by the labor laws of the State of Israel and that includes the law for a minimum wage. But since there is no supervision and no one to enforce the law, they do as they like. The Civil Authority, whose role it is to guard the rights of the local occupied residents, is apparently too busy destroying houses in which the State of Israel is more interested, to enforce any other law.
Za'atara / Tapuach Junction 15.30
At the roundabout in the middle of the junction a military jeep is parked, and three soldiers are standing and observing what is happening. They stop and interrogate two soldiers who are coming from the northern part.and afterward go on their way.