Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir
10:05 Za’tara/Tapuach junction checkpoint
No inspections in any direction, neither when we returned. Some Israeli has opened an improvised kiosk in a minibus on the south side of the junction.
Ma’aleh Efrayim checkpoint.
We saw no soldiers, nor when we returned.
10:55 Hamra checkpoint
Light traffic. Cars heading west (Area A) are hardly ever stopped for inspection.
The residents are still living with nothing, not knowing what their future here would be. Will their homes be demolished or will they be allowed to stay and graze their sheep, their sole (meager) source of income? Even though they’re the registered owners of the land, the army has been trying for a year to get rid of them. They’re forbidden to work the land they own; they’re allowed only to raise sheep.
12:10 Tayasir checkpoint
Light traffic here as well. A military pickup truck passes. “Who are you?” When we replied “Machsom Watch,” they responded with “Leftists,” which ended the conversation.
The settler from Maskiyot who’d been harassing one of the Palestinian shepherds with his dune buggy, has left for the holidays. Let’s hope he doesn’t start again after they’re over.
A little rain fell yesterday. K.’s tent leaks and the roof is still leaking today. We try to help him obtain canvas sheeting to cover the tent. Y., the owner, is about to marry off her son. She describes the marriage traditions of the Bedouin. The boy's mother takes the initiative to find a bride for him. When she locates an appropriate one the families meet and the intended groom, her son, is introduced. If the couple agrees, and then the families do too, the engagement proceeds.
14:25 Hamra checkpoint
A Palestinian car and its passengers are detained at the checkpoint. The reason: A military vehicle traveling on the road to the checkpoint saw it cross the white line to pass the vehicle in front of it. Now they’re waiting for the police to arrive. There’s no doubt the driver should be punished, but since when has the army become the police? Is that also part of defending Israel? In the past we’ve witnessed similar incidents where the army has engaged in police work. At the Tayasir checkpoint, for example, they sometimes search vehicles heading to Area A (Palestine), claiming to be looking for stolen property, goods the Palestinians working in settlements might be stealing.
A large sign on the plowed fields, “We observe Shemita.” So why did they plow at the start of the sabbatical year? Have they - God forbid - leased it to Palestinians?
Two weeks ago we saw soldiers detaining Palestinian cars who’d stopped to let off/pick up passengers, claiming that “only Jews are permitted to do that.” No soldiers were there today. A Palestinian taxi stopped at the same location to let off/pick up passengers.