Hamra, Tayasir, Tue 20.5.08, Afternoon

Twitter FB Whatsapp Email
Daphna B., Yifat D. (reporting)
We drove to the Kalia crossroads, in the West Bank, to check whether Israel allows Palestinians access to the Dead Sea.

14:42 Crossroads
– two "blue" policemen stand by a patrol car on the edge of the road, stopping some of the cars for inspection. According to the policeman: "We make a selection here. Whoever is not supposed to be here, will not be here." Indeed, no Palestinian car passes.

– we drove in the direction of the Allenby Bridge, to a checkpoint before the bridge. Israelis are not allowed through unless they have a special Jordanian visa. This border crossing is for Palestinians who arrive with authorized taxis from East Jerusalem or on buses from Jericho.

On the way to Tayasir Checkpoint, a noticeably large graffiti on the rock: "We Were Here Too."

On the way to Tayasir we see a fire in the thistles around a military camp, hundreds of metres in every direction. The smoke covers the camp and the Bedouin encampment on its approaches. The atmosphere is suffocating. A number of soldiers are extinguishing the fires near the camp. A shepherd explains to us that the Jews are burning straw. We assume that the fire was started by the army.

16:40 Tayasir Checkpoint

The soldiers are checking cars in each direction alternately. Passengers alight and pass through the checkpoint on foot. The drivers are ordered to expose their abdomens and turn around before they may approach the soldiers. However, the passengers are not ordered to do so. Inspection of a car lasts about seven minutes. The soldiers take a short break between each car, so the waiting time grows longer.

17:37 Hamra Checkpoint
Several cars wait for inspection in both directions. Here too the drivers are told to raise their shirts. A soldier gestures to a Palestinian car to come forward. As the car is in the middle of the road, a settler car quickly cuts in front from the left, his horn blaring all the time. Right of way to Jews... The soldiers check the cars slowly.

18:31 Maale Ephraim Checkpoint
The soldiers are checking the boot of a Palestinian car.[