Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir

Ruthi Tuval (photos), Rachela Hayut (reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

We crossed Bezek Checkpoint at 04:30.


Hamra Checkpoint – 05:00

It is still dark outside.  The Hamra junction is lit with yellow lights.   We met four sleepy workers there.  A lot of large and small transits, several busses, and cars carrying workers arrived.   Most of the cars continued in the direction of the Jiftlik, and a few continued in the direction of the settlements along the Alon Route north of Hamra.  Several workers crossed the checkpoint on foot and got into a transport vehicle after it also drove through.  We met several workers from Faara and Tamon.  They work in the vegetable fields or date groves in the settlements of Tomer or Mesuah.    One said that he receives NIS 5.60 an hour (about $1.50).  He works very hard for about ten hours a day.   "I've got no choice.  I need massari." (money)   

At 05:30 we counted 25 cars up to the curve in the road beyond which we could not see) waiting at the western entrance to the checkpoint.   They crossed quickly without being checked.  Six soldiers from the occupation army ran this superfluous checkpoint smoothly.   We left at 06:00.

When it became light we could see that the surrounding areas had turned yellow.  Only the fields of the settlements were green.


06:25 – Tayasir Checkpoint

A soldier approached us and greeted us with "good morning".  The road was empty.  Occasionally a car passed by.  At 06:50 the minibus arrived carrying the school children.  We entered the abandoned army base and there was nevertheless a group of soldiers there who were getting breakfast ready.  After that they were going on some sort of shooting exercise. 

We left at 07:00.

A lot of school children were waiting for their ride at the side of the road.


06:50 – Mehula Junction

Two convoys of strange military vehicles drove by looking like they had been taken from a toy box. We were later told that these were "hummers" camouflaged to look like tanks and were participating in an exercise in the valley.  When we asked where the exercise would take place we got no answer.    

Unfortunately our schedule did not enable us to follow them to the training area.


We returned through Bezek Checkpoint at 07:00.