Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir

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Mayada, Shuli Bar (reporter, photographer), Translator Charles K.

The Jordan Valley is gloriously green and the landscape breathtaking.   Particularly the green hills, the sprouting fields, the tent encampments, the grazing sheep.  The tranquility is misleading.  Behind the pastoral appearance the occupation continues forcefully and wickedly to burden the lives of the inhabitants of the Jordan Valley and those who work there.  Nature garbs itself in beauty while human beings behave with boastful ugliness.

















12:20  Hamra checkpoint

Constant but sparse traffic goes through the checkpoint without delays in both directions.  Drivers show IDs and/or are briefly questioned.  A polite officer approaches us to inquire if we’re alright, though he wasn’t really interested in our answer.


At the junction near the checkpoint, at the end of Highway 578, construction is underway.  Apparently an access path to the military monument that looms there.


South of Gochia gate is another iron gate in the earthen berm.  It’s closed but not locked.


Palestinian farmers work in their greening fields.  A stand has suddenly appeared not far from the Bardala junction, selling colorful citrus fruit from pails.  Until four years ago there were many such stands along the Alon road and Highway 90 where farmers from the Jordan Valley and the Jiftlik sold wonderfully fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the fields.  One day the army arrived and demolished all the stands, every single one, and since then it’s forbidden to make a living that way.


12:50  Tayasir checkpoint

Traffic is light here also and the soldiers don’t detain any car except for a brief questioning and a quick look at an ID.




13:30  Visit to the A. family’s encampment and to Bisan, the girl.  The wound on her leg is healing slowly, which is a miracle in itself.