06:05 – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint
Many have already passed through to the Seamline Zone and are waiting for rides. Many others go up from the terminal sleeve in a steady stream. In the Palestinian parking lot we meet the attendant in an orange vest who makes sure that we park correctly. The line is long, in two columns, and reaches to the end of the parking lot. People stand in order and exemplary quiet. In very short intervals, the turnstile is opened and about 40-60 people enter the area of the terminal with each opening.
There are three more attendants here, two in the parking lot and one next to the turnstile. Ayad also stands there, the volunteer attendant, the one who started the supervision of the lines. He is full of satisfaction; it was his initiative that started with volunteering which turned into orderly work and a salary for about 5 people. He will continue to come during the next week to see that his legacy works as it should and then return to anonymity. He says, “I grew roses and now everyone enjoys their beautiful scent.” We are a little less enthusiastic about his poetic description with a look at the very long, orderly and quiet line. According to Ayad, the salary of the attendants will be paid by the Barta’a Council and the governing body of Jenin. Next week they will start collecting payment for parking and for the time spent in the parking lot. Five shekel a day for cars and a certain percent per trip from each taxi that picks up passengers in the lot. According to Ayad, the arrangement was achieved through the two strikes the Palestinians waged, the last one on Thursday, 05.05.2015, at the checkpoint. (See the report.)
People continue to arrive and the line is preserved. If someone tries to cut in, Ayad calls him to order. Individual women arrive and pass through the second turnstile, which is also the way to return for those workers who work the nightshift. Ayad asks if tomorrow, Remembrance Day, the checkpoint will be closed. As yet we don’t know. He wishes us a Happy Independence Day. . .
06:45 – Everyone passes through and the line disappears. Two drivers complain about the high fines that the Israel police levy in the West Bank that is in no proportion to the income there. To our sorrow, we know this and we are not able to do anything.
07:00 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint
People pass to the Seamline Zone. According to them, “Today is OK.” Individual cars pass. At 07:15 the children from Dahar-Al Malak, who study in Tura, start arriving. The children are charming and well-groomed as usual.
07:00 – There is no one waiting to cross to the Seamline Zone. We leave.