07:30 Tayasir Checkpoint
Two trucks stand pointed westward, to Tayasir. The first passes, the second waits at least ten minutes and then, suddenly, backs away. When we arrive, we hear the soldiers talk about us: "They have arrived and there will be a mess again..." In conversation with the truck driver, we find that he is an Israeli Arab from Turan. He passes the checkpoint almost every day. He shows us pictures of the good-looking building site to which he transports asphalt. The soldiers are new. They don’t find his name on the lists, and promise to check with their unit. Meanwhile, he tries to talk to his boss, who owns a plant in Beit Shean. He says that his permit has expired, but his boss received verbal permission from the brigade commander. Yesterday the same thing happened, and he passed after an hour. His concern is that the asphalt will dry out.
All the other vehicles in both directions pass after a quick check.
08:35 Hamra Checkpoint
Seven men in the pen, waving to us.
In a clarification discussion with the checkpoint commander (a lieutenant), he explains that they were caught passing the checkpoint at 4 AM , and have been held in the pen since then. He is waiting for orders from brigade command.
We requested water for them, and it turned out that they had already received it, and are keeping a bottle, though they are complaining that the water is warm. The soldiers also don’t have cold water, according to the commander. We promised to phone brigade command. At 09:00 we moved away to make a phone call, but were told by brigade command that it is not their business, and were referred to the situation room. They had not heard about the detainees. They promised to check. Ten minutes later, all seven were released. We remained with many questions and doubts...