Reihan, Shaked, Tue 4.8.09, Afternoon
Translation: Bracha B.A.
15:55 Reihan Barta’a
About 20 people are waiting in front of the turnstile. The seamstresses arrive at 16:10. Now there are 30 people waiting. Occasionally people go through in the opposite direction who have to make their way through the crowd. When the turnstile opens at 16:25 the people waiting become angry and begin shouting “Wahad, wahad” (one by one). We call Sharon, who promises to send someone. As usual, we apologize for bothering him. It would be much simpler if they would operate another window as a routine procedure during these busy hours.
At 16:26 there is a shift change in the only window that is operating. An officer from the Liaison and Coordination Administration who speaks Arabic arrives accompanied by two security guards. He behaves quietly and with respect and everyone listens and lines up. He reports by telephone that in his opinion there is no overcrowding, but at that moment it is becoming crowded and the officer promises us that they will immediately open another window, and that this is not always possible.
At 16:36 another window opens precisely when the line begins to disappear, and it is closed after 5 minutes.
At 16:52 there are 20 people waiting again, but people are now going through more quickly. A resident of Z’bada who can see the Barta’a Checkpoint from his home tells us the absurd story with which we are so familiar: he has to go through the checkpoint at Irtah in the morning and leaves home at 3:00 AM in order to get to work in Hadera at 8:00.
17:05 - On the way to the lower parking lot the gates of the checkpoint where cars are checked are open in the direction of the road. There are no cars in the facility. A security guard looks the area over. There are a lot of cars waiting for workers in the lower parking lot. M.A., a farmer from Z’bada, whose land is on the other side of the checkpoint, complains that his permit has not been renewed. He needs to provide proof that he owns his land. A charismatic man who introduces himself as “Sami the Bedouin” asks us to acquire a wheelchair for a 60-year-old woman. I have their personal details.
17:45 – Shaked-Tura
Traffic is very light and is moving smoothly. We leave at 18:00.
S.A. reported by phone that last week there was a serious fight at the sewing factory in Barta’a. Scissors were drawn and her son was injured. At the end of the week a delegation of about 30 people, headed by the president of the Barta’a Regional Council, came to S.A.’s house in Yaabed and they held a sulha.