Hamra, Tayasir, Wed 9.1.08, Afternoon
Anina K., Yehudit H.
13:00 Tayasir Checkpoint
We thought we would see how the checkpoint functioned under closure, but here there clearly was no closure, and the Nahal Haredi unit had never heard about it...
Cars from both directions arrive and pass quickly. Those travelling towards the West Bank (Tayasir) are not checked at all, and those coming from there undergo very quick inspections.
Families with children descend and enter the building with turnstiles, and everything runs quickly and quietly.
13:15 – change of shifts but without any delays, and those reuqesting to pass in either direction do so.
Those passing say that everything is okay today.
Most of the soldiers are orthodox, to judge by the earlocks and large skullcaps, and have American accents. One of them places by us broadsheets that preach the preservation of the Jewish family. We read and throw them in the waste bin, so they shouldn’t blow in the wind. Then two of them arrive and one digs into the bin to retrieve the sheets. Asked why, they respond that the paper is better put in the geniza (religious storage).
13:45 – we leave.
14:05 Hamra Checkpoint
Many cars in both directions.
A police car stands next to the westbound line, and the policemen are asking for ID cards. We ask what this is about:
-We are from MachsomWatch and we want to know if there is something new at the checkpoint; two inspections must be performed now? Both by soldiers and police?
-No, this is routine activity and this is one of our tasks, the policeman answers.
-Something to do with the Bush visit?
-No, no connection...
It appears that we caused them some discomfort. They stop the inspections and drive off.
A truck driver who passed the checkpoint has been waiting 15 minutes for his 10-year-old son who was delayed. We go to ask about it, but then the child comes out and runs to his father.
All the cars pass, and four soldiers deal with both directions quickly.
14:30 – a bus full of workers returning home is delayed. The soldiers get everyone off, line them up in threes and request IDs, but within six minutes they are back on the bus and driving away.
14:45 – we leave as all the cars have passed through.[L]