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, Sat 21.4.12, Morning
Shaked (Tura) Checkpoint is located on the separation fence and near the Palestinian villages of Tura and Dahar el-Malh and the settlement of Shaked. The checkpoint opens twice a day for a total of 10 hours. The transients are schoolchildren from the "seam zoon" who learn in West Bank educational institutions, farmers from both sides of the separation fence who have been cut off from their lands, pedestrians and vehicles. The names of those entitled to pass here are on lists held by the soldiers.
Since 2008 taxis and private cars with permits are allowed to pass from the West Bank to the Seam Zone and back.
The checkpoint and its surroundings appear to be under construction. We thought it was time to dismantle the checkpoint but on the ground the picture seems just the opposite.
Traffic streams along in both directions with no delays. Pedestrians, vehicles and even a horse and its rider.
We are told that at around 07:00 traffic was heavy and people had to wait almost half an hour. At this time everything is open.
A truck loaded with small tobacco sidlings. The cultivated fields are waiting to be planted.
Here too the momentum of renovation continues: along and above each sleeve's entrance a plastic roof was installed, new plants were planted, and paintings of country landscape cover the western side of the wall of the parking area.
It seems that traffic streams along smoothly on both side, there are no detainees sitting on the bench at the entrance to the terminal. Despite that people do report of people delayed inside "due to the machines". Apparently the body screening machines delays the passage.
On the way back we brought Marie and Amjad to the Physical Therapy clinic in Um-el-Fachem.