Reihan, Shaked, Sun 31.5.09, Morning
Reihan Checkpoint : 06:00
Vans loaded with merchandise are already being checked inside the building. About 40 workers are waiting for their rides to work. They tell us that the checkpoint opened on time but passage through the terminal near the machine was very slow. When we go down the sleeve we see that people are going in slowly but there is no crowd inside the terminal and people are going through the entrance gate immediately.
An Israeli employer from one of the sewing factories in Barta’a comes to get one of the workers out. She received a new permit was valid starting June 1st and forgot her old permit at home. Her employer intervened, but to no avail. We also tried to help by contacting Lieutenant Colonel Adel, the head of the Liaison and Coordination Administration, but we were given an outright refusal.
Two cars entered the inspection area at 6:00 and were checked by 6:30.
6:45: The checkpoint is quiet and only a few people are passing through. Five vans with merchandise are waiting to be checked.
Shaked Checkpoint – 6:50
The gates are open and soldiers are getting organized. Two young people are waiting next to the gate on the side of the seamline zone. About 20 people, two cars, and a herd of goats are waiting next to the open gate on the West Bank side. There is an announcement posted on the gate with instructions to students, adults, and drivers regarding how to behave at the checkpoint.
The shepherd goes through the inspection room first and the other people then begin to go in. It is not clear if there are new orders or if the soldiers are new, but their behavior today is very cumbersome and unclear (at least to observers like us).
The movement through the checkpoint is allowed alternatively in both directions and is mainly to the disadvantage of those coming from the West Bank. All the students are delayed and their permits are checked against a list that the soldier is holding. Students coming from the seamline zone do not have to go through the inspection booth, but are also held up for five minutes and checked against the list. Meanwhile, people from the West Bank cannot pass through. Vehicles going in both directions are checked quickly.
When we left at 7:30 there were another 20 people on the West Bank side who entered the inspection booth one by one. Even the teacher was delayed and had not yet come out.