Reihan, Shaked, Sun 7.6.09, Afternoon
15:00 Shaked Checkpoint
15:40 Reihan Checkpoint
In the lower (Palestinian) parking lot no tenders with produce. But the lot itself is full of cars waiting for passengers. Workers arriving slowly. Four new taxis waiting and "grabbers" waiting for livelihood.
A pickup arrives with produce to wait from now (16:00) for tomorrow morning’s queue!
The upper (Israeli) lot, the entry is flowing. At the entrance next to the turnstiles, seven detainees are sitting on the side: they say they have already been here a long time, and want to return to Jenin, but have no permit.
16:40 – a greater flow of returning people, but only one window open.
16:50 – the detainees, who claim to have been here since the morning, are released.
The line gets longer, and it is clear that there are people going in and out at the turnstile, and this slows the traffic. 21 men are waiting. When we leave, there are more.
People repeat their complaint that in the mornings they must travel to work via Taibe, which makes the trip much longer, more expensive and causes early rising (04:00). One worker tells us that a building materials plant employs 150 labourers from Yaabed, but only 50 are able to cross in the morning at Reihan. All the rest have to spend money on taxis, get up earlier and cross at Taibe. In the afternoon they can cross in much shorter time at Reihan Checkpoint. Why isn’t there a similar arrangement in the mornings?!!!
A worker tells us of a rumour that from today Taibe is improving and the crossing is much faster, but the long ride and early rising still remain. They ask us to act to change the situation, particularly in the coming month of Ramadan when the problem will be harsher...