27 of the Fourth Month 5768
Restrictions upon entering parts of the Shomron (Samaria) appeared to be focused on the north, and allegedly related to this week's hike through that area. Others report that these restrictions are directly related to last week's protests in and around Shilo:
Shooting Between Jews and Bedouins Near Maoz Esther
(IsraelNN.com) Five Israelis and two Bedouin were arrested, included two who reportedly shot at Bedouin Arabs in two separate incidents near the outpost of Maoz Esther in Binyamin on Tuesday afternoon.
Several people were also reported injured in the melee that followed two days of restrictions imposed by the new IDF Samaria Brigade Commander, Col. Itzik Bar, against Israeli cars coming into the area for fear they were bringing activists who might provoke local Arabs.
The incidents came in the wake of clashes in response to the destruction by the IDF of a structure at the Adei Ad outpost.
Maoz Esther is near Kokhav HaShahar. This news flash may unintentionally imply a connection between the two incidents. There is no information in supporting that as of yet. It is not uncommon for communities in Shomron and Yehudah to be threatened by Arabs.
We now know that there is contact between Israeli police and Arabs. Who knows what happened there. I will contact my source in Maoz Esther, and report back here later tonight.
In the meantime, people going north of Tapu'ah Junction toward Itamar, Brachah, Yitzhar, and Elon More have been asked to show there te'udath zehuth (identification card) in order to prove their residency in the Shomron.
One resident of Eli reported that he had an appointment at his child's school in that area. What if he hadn't lived in the Shomron? Then what?
It was reported to me that a school bus full of yeshiva students was stopped, and students not having te'udath zehuth were taken off the bus, and "spoken to" by an area commander. It was not confirmed as to whether the students were allowed to pass the check point or not.
They let him through quickly and easily. This is only supposed to be a two-day restriction. This area is not even close to the route of the Shomron-Yehudah hike taking place this week. It is possible to travel toward Qedumum, and continue on to Homesh, via the Yitzhar-Qedumim road. But what does that have to do with Itamar and Elon Moreh?
Meanwhile, the flow of Arab vehicles continues in this east-central area of the Shomron without obstruction.
This was one of the first restrictions placed on Azza before the expulsion of its Jewish residents.