Reihan, Shaked, Sun 17.5.09, Afternoon
Translation: Bracha B.A.
We drove Ali, an eight-year-old boy, who had undergone chemotherapy, and his mother from Rambam Hospital to the checkpoint. There is almost no traffic at this hour. The Palestinian parking lot is full of cars that belong to residents of Yaabed and the surrounding area who work in the seamline zone but cannot take their cars through the checkpoint. Several drivers are already waiting to bring workers back from work. One tender loaded with plastic chairs is waiting to be checked.
13:55 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
There is little traffic at this hour. Older students are returning from the high school in Yaabed. Their certificates are checked, but they do not have to enter the inspection booth. They are waiting for Y’s car to take them home to Um el Reihan. Two young students also arrive, show their documents, and march between the fences to the “isolated house”. When we ask a soldier he answers that they have to show their student card and a photocopy of one of their parent’s ID’s. Two cars are detained for a lengthy inspection of their cargo. One car has a water pump to be installed in a refrigeration facility on the roof. The car is released on its way to the seamline zone after 15 minutes. A soldier tells the driver that “he is doing him a favor.” The driver asks us: “He’s doing me a favor? It’s for my house!” The other car is carrying a refrigerator and it is detained for more than a half hour. They don’t know if the refrigerator was allowed in the end or if “coordination” was required.
Drivers were required to get out of their cars, enter the inspection booth, and only then to bring their car to be checked. One of the cars had the sign of the Red Crescent. The check was quick but the regulation appeared to be new.
14:45 Reihan-Barta’a Checkpoint
The seamstresses who work in East Barta’a are returning from work. They descend in the sleeve and enter the terminal to be checked. There is no pressure at this hour and the seamstresses go through to the Palestinian parking lot in several minutes and are swallowed up in the taxis. People explained to us that they leave and return in the same taxi and that the owner of the sewing room pays the driver once each month. The other workers begin to come back and pass through quickly at this hour. One asks us to come see the heavy traffic at the Jalameh Checkpoint in the morning. We will try and meet his request. It is very hot: 41 degrees (105 Fahrenheit) according to the thermometer in the car. We therefore left early.15:15 We give a ride to a worker from Yaabed who works in the Shahak industrial area in the seamline zone. He works the night shift from 5:00 in the afternoon to 5:00 AM. HE has no car and he wonders how he will get there and how long it will take to get through the terminal, which is why he is leaving for work so early.