Reihan, Shaked, Tue 15.12.09, Morning
Translation: Bracha B.A.
Reihan Barta’a 06:00
In There is no line next to the entrance gate in the lower parking lot. Whoever comes enters immediately. At 06:10 two people arrive: one in an orange hooded jacket and the other with a red Kafiyyeh wrapped around his neck. The first one comes out at 06:23 but the one with the Kafiyyeh comes out at 06:47. Our friend A. the driver who makes his living driving workers from the nearest checkpoint on the bridge is not in a hurry today. This checkpoint is open to everyone and people arrive in their own cars. He will have to look for work elsewhere. A young worker whom the biometric machine failed to identify is trying to get in for a second time. This time he succeeds. Additional proof of what we have known for a long time: the machine is not reliable and it is the cause of a lot of expensive wasted time and trouble. At 06:65 it is quiet at the turnstile at the exit from the terminal and all the workers who were waiting have already been picked up.
The gate is open. Several workers are making their way through the turnstile on the other side. At 07:05 the principal of the school in Ya’abed and his daughter who is studying for her matriculation exams arrive in their tiny beat-up car. The girl walks through and a soldier peeks inside her schoolbag. The principal’s car is meticulously checked this morning. Five older students and nine younger ones go through, and a females soldier looks inside their schoolbags. Someone coming out points behind him. “Look. What kind of world is this where little children have to pass by soldiers on their way to school?” Someone comes out from behind him and lights a cigarettes and says with a smile, “Whoever comes out of this checkpoint can’t help smoking.” A 7:30 there is no one left next to the turnstile. There is a new procedure in which an armed soldier stands next to the inner gate in back of the concrete block and checks the children’s school bags rather than inside the inspection booth. It’s some sort of new security procedure.
We hear about the hardships that the Israeli Arabs are experiencing at the Jalameh checkpoint while sitting in a coffee house in Um El Fahem. When they arrive at the checkpoint they are greeted with “Ahalan w’Sahalan” but when they come back from the West Bank they are checked and detained for hours. They have no desire to visit their relatives, let alone go shopping.
Recently there are telephone complaints about sudden expiration of permits, even among older and senior workers. The number of workers at the checkpoints seems to be less than it was previously. We can see that there is a change for the worse in issuing permits to Palestinians.