Hamra (Beqaot), Tayasir

Observers: 
Revital S., Rachela H. (reporting, photos), J.H. (translation)
16/01/2016
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Morning

10:45- 12:30

 

10:45 Bezeq Checkpoint

We crossed through.

 

We observed heavy traffic of military vehicles. Soldiers carrying large backpacks walked in small groups through the agricultural areas west of Route 90, both north of Mehola Junction and east of Allon Rd. The nearby slopes are covered in shades of green thanks to recent rains.

 

Allon Road (578): Soldiers from the Kfir Brigade are training. The rains caused breaches in the ramparts preventing passage from the east to the west of the valley.

 

11:10 Hamra Checkpoint

An Israeli flag alongside the flag of the unit (Lions of the Jordan) are stained with what looks like feces. There are two female soldiers in a watch tower, two soldiers in a position on the road. On each side of the checkpoint there are 4-6 cars waiting in line. We pass through without inspection.

We’ve become accustomed to the fact that at this checkpoint only one lane is open for traffic in both directions, and have stopped asking why; we already know the rote response (shortage in manpower – soldiers).

Small trucks and vans pass to the East, and transits, taxis, and private cars to the West. Despite the early hour, transits carrying workers who must have finished their work day, passed west, toward the West Bank.

Two soldiers approached to ask who we were. They also hadn’t heard of our organization  MachsomWatch and we explained. They told us the military version of the incident from roughly two weeks ago in which two people were killed at Hamra Checkpoint.

This is the Palestinian verson:

 

Nablus Palestinian News: (MAAN, WAFA):

Ali Abu Mariam, 23, and Sa’id Abu al-Wafa, 38, were shot to death by soldiers at the Al-Hamra (Beqaot) military checkpoint, located in the Northern Jordan Valley. The Army Spokesperson said that the two attempted to stab soldiers at the checkpoint, though eye witnesses report that the two were shot in cold blood immediately after being asked by the soldiers to step out of their car, and that they held no knives in their hands. The two were retailers and it is reported that they were on their way to distribute goods to stores. No Israelis were injured.

 

The soldiers we spoke with were not at the checkpoint that day, but they knew that one of the men killed walked around the back of the car with a knife held behind his back and when he reached the soldiers’ position he held it to a soldier’s throat, was then knocked to the ground and shot. According to them it had been at 5:30am. And there weren’t many people on the road. The soldier speaking said that he would have been happy to have the chance to take revenge on someone coming to injure soldiers. We suggested he avoid such…

  

11:30 The female soldiers in the watch tower called out to us that someone was stealing our car. We saw a vehicle with blue lights (police? security

 vehicle?) stopped near our car and someone speaking with the checkpoint sanitation worker about our car; when they were satisfied they departed. The sanitation worker told us about his work and how important his salary is for him and his family. He didn’t witness the killing at the checkpoint and said that passage through it had been halted until the bodies and the cars were cleared away. He wasn’t sure where to.

One of the drivers asked if we were with MachsomWatch. I figured that he lived in the vicinity of Route 90, near the Argaman settlement. He said that he didn’t know any of our members personally but that he wanted to say “good for you, continue, it’s important.”

 

11:45We left.

 

12:10We reached Tayasir Checkpoint, where traffic was flowing smoothly. In the training areas leading to the checkpoint we saw many soldiers and tents.

 

12:30Bezeq Checkpoint. We were asked how we were, we answered and passed through.