Occupied Jordan Valley
14:30 – 16:30
We crossed the Bezek Checkpoint at 14:30.
It is very hot and dry.
Rotem Settlement – The pirate settlement south of Rotem continues to develop. A wooden pergola, flowers, and spice plants in boxes have been added. The mobile home at the eastern edge is being used for living quarters. It has an air conditioner and while we were there we saw a young girl emerge. Water is provided from a tank nearby. One of the pipes is leaking and creating a large puddle. There is no shortage of water here and no doubt the settlers are not paying for it.
There are two pirate settlements on the slopes south of the settlement of Rotem. One of them is surrounded by scaffolding and renovation work or paining is being done. Life in the other settlement continues as usual, and a shaded area has been built for cars.
The ascent to Tayasir: There is an army camp of tents in the firing range north of the Tayasir Checkpoint.
Tayasir Checkpoint: We talked to a taxi driver who had crossed at the checkpoint about the crossing after seeing a Facebook posting by Activestills about the blocking of the road at Tayasir Checkpoint (see below). He reported that on Wednesday Tayasir Checkpoint had been closed and traffic was redirected to the Hamra Checkpoint. This included all traffic coming from Tayasir as well as from Hamm Al Malakh. According to the post children riding in a transport vehicle had to cross the checkpoint on foot after being sent back and then continued home. The taxi driver whom we spoke to had not heard about this.
The Alon Route: The dirt embankments have been reinforced and canals have been dug in places where there were openings.
Hamra Checkpoint: A bulldozer and cars are parked in the parking lot. The watchtower is manned.
Khalat al Makhul – Y. reported that everything was quiet and was happy to receive the packages that we brought.
At the entrance to the settlement of Maskiot signs were posted inviting people to give to the poor in their town.
We crossed back through Bezek Checkpoint at 16:30. It was Thursday afternoon and there was a long line of cars and busses waiting to cross, including a bus from the "Birthright" program.