Eyal Crossing, Jayyus

Observers: 
Natalie Cohen, Ana Shidlo, Naomi Bentsur, driver Nadim. Natanya translating.
03/09/2014
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Morning

9.15 We left Rosh Ha-ayin. Yesterday at the Eyal crossing at which a Palestinian taxi driver  was killed and two passengers injured. “A Kfir fighter who felt that his life was in danger returned fire in the direction of the car” …The army spokesman went further and said that the driver had “tried to run over soldiers and also pedestrians.” As in the last months “attempts at running over’ have occurred frequently there are difficult questions. We went to the Eyal crossing so as to get further information from other sources.

At the entrance to the checkpoint we met, A., an Israeli Palestinian who was present at the scene and saw the incident. He described the stages of the incident which ended so tragically.

The driver of the Mitzibushi had 8 passengers without permits and was bringing them to Israel for another day of work. They arrived at the agricultural checkpoint of  Jayyus which was open and decided to go through there. From there through the settlement of Zofin they arrived by an agricultural path to the Eyal crossing. The passengers did not know that cameras were following them. The soldiers at the Eyal crossing were informed that a suspicious vehicle was approaching them . The Kfir unit soldiers ran from the checkpoint in the direction of the road. One of them shot 3 bullets which punctured the vehicles tires. Another soldier shot in the direction of the driver and shot him in the forehead. The driver lost control of the car.

A.     Saw how the driver’s head dropped and he said, “It was clear that he was dead.” We went with him to the scene of the happening. A. showed us there the driver had driver up to a pile of sand and stopped. The car turned behind a bend in the right of the road and the soldiers shot at him from the left. “So how could the commander of Eyal say to the media that the soldiers had been in danger of being ridden over. ?”?Besides the driver who was killed two passengers were injured. The one was wounded badly and taken by ambulance to Maier hospital in Kfar Saba and the other was treated at the place and taken away by an army car. The passengers who were not hurt were also taken away. When the car was examined no weapons or terrorist materials were found.

B.       A. asked us an important question : If the car was suspicious and under survey  why was the road not blocked in from of it or when they got to the crossing. It was possible to block their way by putting spikes across the road. Two police cars that were hidden behind the branches of a tree about 200 metres from the checkpoint could have stopped the car. If the car had continued on its way also the police of Taiba could have trapped it. A. emphasizes that in this area there have often been incidents of soldiers stopping car to find illegal workers. In this case, another car driving illegal workers and there was no reason for it to have needed this way. The conclusion is that here there was premeditated murder.

C.     10.45. We arrive at Jayyus from where the car set out in the hope of hearing more details about the incident. At the taxi stand where the map of Israel of 1948 decorates it we meet a group of driver. This is their story.  The papers of the taxi driver were forged and also the license number. The driver was helped by a soldier who gave him information how to smuggle workers through without being caught. The process as follows:  The workers went through the agricultural gate at Jayyus and from there the driver would collect them. The soldier who sat next to the Eyal crossing and from there told the drivers when to cross the road safely. Yesterday the he did not come to his shift because maybe he had given the driver away and did not want to be present. The soldiers had not gone out towards the car but there detectives in army uniforms who came out of a white army vehicle. The driver saw them and tried to get away and then they shot him. These impressions sound like the truth.

D.     Through this sad story is mirrored the hard life of the Palestinian workers. The Israeli authorities call them illegal workers and prevent them from making a living for their families. The workers endanger their lives and spend their energies for the little money which the Israeli employers pay them …or not.