Hamra, Tayasir, Wed 19.12.07, Afternoon

Observers: 
Anina K., Yehudit H.
19/12/2007
|
Afternoon

Guests: Rachel, David, Tali

13:00 Tayasir Checkpoint

A terrible volley of gunfire greets us. There is intensive activity at the firing range close to the checkpoint.
The checkpoint itself is completely free of cars. After 10 minutes two cars pass in the direction of Tayasir (West Bank) without any checking. A few minutes later some cars come from the other directions, and are checked meticulously. People are mostly dressed for the festival, and we wish them a happy holiday as they pass.
The soldiers ignore our presence.
The firing continues; we leave for Hamra.

14:00 Hamra Checkpoint

Many people at the checkpoint, especially women and children, all on their way to visit family (Eid el-Adha). One person tells us about the difficulties in passing with the children. Others say that everything is okay.
14:40 – when the soldiers see the gathering around us and the conversations between us and the Palestinians, they close the checkpoint. A few minutes later, a man who did cross tells us that the closureinfo-icon is due to us.
West of the checkpoint, a long line of cars, up to the horizon. While we still wonder about that announcement, another Palestinian "messenger" arrives to tell us to move away, or the checkpoint will remain closed. We move off a way, but it is not enough and, after ten minutes, a soldier (B.) arrives to announce dogmatically that he is responsible for us, and therefore we are to stand behind the concrete partitions on the road from Jiftlik, or 150 yards from the checkpoint. Our requests were of no avail, nor did our complaints help, and indeed after we moved the checkpoint opened in both directions.
In future we will come equipped with certification that it is forbidden to close a checkpoint because of our presence.
The visitors were shocked by everything that they have seen...
15:30 – we leave.