“Who will worry about us?”  (Soldier)

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Rachel Weizman and Ruthi Tuval (reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
שלט גדול ועליו כתוב צועדים עצמאות
מגדל שמירה, חומה, גדרות ומכונית

Tura Checkpoint

15:10 – We drove past Barta’a Checkpoint.  There were no cars parked by the sides of the road today.   Are the police enforcing the parking laws that exist in Israel? 

On our way to Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint we stopped at the well – kept grocery store in Emricha to see whether F., the owner,  knew how to pronounce  the name of the village, which is called Emricha.  We left with dates, nuts, and very spicy olives that F., the gentle owner had made. 

15:30 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint

Traffic was moving without any delay and the soldiers were observing us from the pillbox.   We noticed a change in the scenery.  Since last week the memorial monument commemorating Moshe Tamam, a soldier who  vanished from the Beit Leed Junction whose body was discovered near Mevo Dotan in August of 1984 was renovated.  His name was mentioned recently after his murderer was freed from prison.

Another addition to the scenery was a colorful poster calling for people to participate in a march on Independence Day to renew the settlement of Sa- Nur.  The settlement was evacuated and demolished during Arik Sharon’s disengagement plan but remained under Israeli jurisdiction.  Evidently the army is apathetic towards activities that are taking place right under their noses.

A cold wind forced us back into our car.

Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side

All the parking lots were completely filled and there were cars parked on the sides of the road.  The parking lot for trucks and commercial vehicles was also full.   There were more than ten trucks on their way to the inspection facility.  Large groups of workers were beginning to arrive and to hurry down the sleeveinfo-icon, which has been extended to twice its length and reach three turnstiles leading to the West Bank. 

16:40:   Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

Today people were preparing for Ramadan and there was more traffic than usual, and the soldiers were more alert.  Do they understand the implications of their being here  where they control people who are not Israeli citizens: i.e. occupation.   They reminded us about Esther Horgan from the nearby settlement of Tal Menasheh who was murdered in the Reihan Forest as an example of the important work they are doing without understanding the contradiction of what they are saying.  A soldier asked: “You worry about the Palestinians, but who will worry about us?”   We asked them whether the ladies who bring soldiers cakes no longer saw to their needs.   Besides, you are armed from head to foot and the army sees to all your needs.  Why should anyone worry about you?”  Evidently he spends all of his pay on food other than what the army provides.  We tried to encourage him with our grandmotherly instincts….