Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir
We crossed at 09:00. It is morning and the herds were grazing on the dry fields. The shepherds were happy to receive the bottles of water that we’ve brought.
The photo shows a herd of sheep going up to the Tayasir Checkpoint.
Aside from the water tank at the foot of the watchtower there is no sign of soldiers here. The area of the checkpoint is empty and clean. The herds have eaten any litter and since there is no garbage around, the cats have left as well. The training area is also empty. It is the eve of a holiday and the army is busy with the occupation in other areas of the West Bank.
09:45 – Alon Route, Guchia Gate
Photo shows the mound of dirt along the Alon Route. We did not see soldiers here either. A shepherd whom we met along the way also said that no soldiers were present in the past few days.
09:55 Hamra Checkpoin
The bulldozer is parked in the yard. The northern lane is still closed. A soldier explains that there are manpower shortages, and that there used to be six soldiers here but now there are only four. There is a long line of cars standing west of the checkpoint. About 20 cars were waiting and we couldn’t see those standing closest to the checkpoint. The car which was waiting at the end of the line when we arrived had gone through the checkpoint after 25 minutes. There are 8 cars waiting on the eastern side. Most of these are taxis. One of the drivers explained that it was not possible to get to Nablus by way of Huwara, and he had to drive through the Jordan Valley to get there, through the Hamra Checkpoint, from the east.
Two soldiers from the "Lions of the Jordan" came to see who we were. One of them was eager to understand, and to learn about the history which they are not aware of in order to understand our position. We felt encouraged by their open-mindedness and by the fact that their friends had avoided being drafted into the IDF. Meanwhile two women soldiers were letting cars through. An Israeli car stopped and the driver shouted, "Tell me, you bitch, aren't you tired of this yet?"
A group of about ten young people arrived on foot and were told to cross through the pedestrian path, despite the fact that there was barbed wire stretched across it. The soldier reports that they are used to it, and they somehow managed to get across the barbed wire and continue on their way.
As we were getting ready to leave a woman soldier came up to us and told us angrily that we ought to learn something about her country and that she was tempted to shoot us. The sergeant who spoke to us attempted to calm her and hopefully he had succeeded. Since we see this as a threat on our lives it is regretful we had not recorded her statement, but who would have thought we would need to?
We left at 10:50.
Soldiers were waiting for a bus or other transport at the bus stop opposite the army camp.
We crossed Bezek Checkpoint at 11:10. The trunk of our car was checked and we continued on our way.