Hamra (Beqaot), Za'tara (Tapuah)

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Tzvia S., Nurit P. (Reporting, Photos). Marcia L., Translation
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A border police jeep in Za`atara c.p (Tapuah junction) . The Policmen inspect a Palestinian driver

Za`atara Checkpoint/Tapuah Junction, 08:45

Za`atara on the side of the road in the direction of the Valley: a police jeep is parked with an Israeli flag on both sides.  Next to the jeep, border patrol police stop Palestinian cars and check the passengers.

9:30 – East of Highway 90, close to the turn to Fasayil, a monument is hoisted on the hill in memory of the fallen in the Valley during the 1970’s.

Fasayil – 09:40 – It is the first week of Ramadan.  Quiet.  After eating breakfast before the daily fast, most of the residents rest in their homes and in their tents.  The preparation for dinner will begin at 4’o clock p.m.  At 7 o’clock the daily fast is broken.  So it is according to H., who greets us with a broad smile. Obviously she heard our car approaching and came out of her tent shaped like a hothouse, which is used as a house after their home was destroyed. We sit in the shade of a large ficus tree.  A pleasant morning breeze is blowing.  Politely, she suggests a drink to us, but we refuse (because of the Ramadan fast).  She has four children.  The oldest is married with a small child, and is still limited in his walking from an accident that occurred three months ago.  In the same accident, H’s husband was killed.  Her brother-in-law and his family moved next to H’s family in order to help her maintain her household.  The brother-in-law and his wife have three small daughters.  The wife (H’s sister-in-law) is amiable and full of life.   The two of them, H. and her sister-in-law, emphasize in a conversation with us, that they are Bedouins and therefore, they cannot be photographed.  Such is their custom.  But they encourage their children to be photographed. 


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H.’s children in Fasayil.

They plan to visit the family N., in Fasayil.  We were acquainted with H. and her children in August 2015, when we visited them after their house was destroyed by IDA.  Sadly, the visit today didn’t materialize; the road was obviously in very bad condition as a result of damage done by flooding in the winter.

Hamra Checkpoint, 12:00. Empty.  The roads in two directions were open.  Soldiers are seen up in the watch tower.

12:30 – A visit in the shepherd community near the settlement of Gitit.  We came to meet B., and to suggest that he prepares a list of children and women from the community who want to participate in a day at the beach of Tel Aviv in August.  B. traveled to Aqraba, where he will stay for the month of Ramadan. We will arrange a meeting with him there.  The family flocks remain where they are, under supervision of young shepherds. 

13:00 – Za’tara Checkpoint – At this hour the traffic flows without interruptions.  A police jeep and border police (apparently) are seen in the expanse of the inspection area