Since 2001 we have observed dozens of army checkpoints on paved and unpaved roads in the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and along the Separation Fence; Civil Administration offices which grant permits to Palestinians; and military courts trying Palestinian prisoners. We stand at the checkpoints observing the behavior of soldiers and Palestinians without interfering, intervening only when soldiers behave offensively to Palestinians. Then we try to speak to the soldiers themselves or telephone...
Reihan, Shaked, Tue 3.1.12, Morning
Reihan (Bartaa) Checkpoint allows transit only to vehicles and pedestrians holding transit permits appropriate to the place. The checkpoint is located on the separation fence, east of East Bartaa, and is supposed to supply continuation of the "fabric of life" to the Palestinian residents living in the "Seam Zone," who have been physically cut off from the West Bank by the that fence. Since 16 May 2007, it has been maintained by a civilian security company subcontracting to the Defense Ministry.
Functioning on the site is a large and sophisticated terminal, which includes biometric facilities for identification of the palm of the hand, and small examination rooms to which men and women are taken by random selection. Agricultural produce and other goods may be transferred through here from the West Bank to the Seam Zone enclave in limited quantities, by a group of regular drivers and in prior coordination with the DCO and the army.
Since the checkpoint passed into civilian hands, the Mevo Reihan CP (near Umriha village) has been used as a checking point for Palestinians on their way to the Reihan checkpoint.
6:05 - Reihan checkpoint
The upper car park is stuffed with vehicles which is sign that there are still quite few people inside the terminal.
We go down the sleeve and meet women workers only. One of them tells us that most of the people are held by the X-ray machine that operates slowly.
Average time of stay inside the terminal is about 30-40 minutes.
6:15 There is noise inside the terminal after which pace of those coming out grows a bit faster.
Once again we are approached by people complaining that only one elderly person from each family can obtain an agriculture permit and non of the younger family members who can help in the routinely chores of farming except for the two months of olive picking.
6:30- Heavy traffic to both directions, occasionally it seems as if some sort of blockage is lifted inside the terminal, but according to other people there is crowding of about 40 people by the machine.
7:05 - Shaked checkpoint
Only now soldiers open the gates and with in five more minutes people begin entering the inspection cabin.
A five years old child arrive with his father from the side of the West Bank, the kid crosses over alone into the Seam Line zone, near us, on the other side of the gate, his uncle picks him up to take him to the grandmother, to babysit for him at Daher-el-Malec.
Pedestrians as well as vehicles cross over on both sides.
7:25- School children begin arriving. Two female soldiers and a soldier with a pointed rifle, inspect their school bags and let them through quickly. College students who go to Jenin are required to go through the inspection cabin.