Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir
Bezeq Checkpoint 13:50- northern entrance into the Palestinian Jordan Valley.
We drove through. The heat is extreme.
Along the road, across from the Jewish settlement of Rotem we saw open armoured cars. Some distance away in the shade of a tree soldiers were seen lying on the ground, asleep.
Going up to Tyassir checkpoint
Hamam al Malih: The site seems abandoned. Last summer, too, during Ramadan month its inhabitants had left (at the time, a shepherd boy of the famiy was killed). Cows are seen grazing on the dried slopes, sheep crowd in the shade of the few trees. In the valley south of the road, we saw soldiers, two tents and a flag.
A woman stood at the side of the road. We stopped. She was on her way to Tubas to do some shopping. She wanted no drink (because of the Ramadan fast). In spite of her fears (which we found reasonable)she agreed to ride with us to Tyassir from which she could then continue by taxi to Tubas. We left the visit to this Palstinian town – which until recently we could not approach – for another time because our passenger asked to get off near the school which is close to the eastern entrance, and continue on foot.
The checkpoint is open to free traffic. A soldier came down from the watchtower and went to the post across the road, holding a trash can. Beside this, the place looked deserted. Signs of a recent fire are still seen along the road and around the abandoned camp.
Halat Makhul 14:30
The small locality seems faint in the heat. We met with A. in the family tent. The girls were asleep. We heard about the families who had left. We voiced holiday greetings for them and their grandmother.
Hamra Checkpoint 15:00
The northern lane is still closed to traffic. The soldiers at the checkpoint are reservists. One of them tells us about the young man from Ujja who opened fire with a semi-automatic Karl-Gustav at the checkpoint and was then killed by the soldiers' fire. "You can still see the hole the bullet made", he said.We were interested in seeing it, but the soldier was not permitted to show it to us. We learned that this checkpoint, too, is useless (as if we didn't know this already) and will probably be deserted just like Tyassir cechkpoint. There are so many ways to get to Road no. 90, anyway. "The commanders have decide there is no security need here and even now it only serves as a "fishing net" post. We asked – even if uselessly – "So the checkpoint is pointless but still one lane is closed off?" but he had nowhere to inquire about this. A soldier and two youngsters in civilian clothes who came along in a car brought the soldiers at the checkpoint some soft drink and wafers. Traffic was slow. Even the time cars had to wait was short and superfluous. (Always, and especially in this heat). We left at 15:25.
Around the hothouses near Bardala we saw 6 or 8 vehicles standing, probably armoured cars, in two rows. We saw no soldiers.
Bezeq Checkpoint 15:45
The usual questions. We got through.