Reihan, Shaked, Tue 5.1.10, Morning
The upper car park area is busy. Two huge tow trucks, loaded with cars, in service of the police, maneuver in the area, escorted by two Jeeps. The police officers do not volunteer to offer information. Our acquaintance, B., guesses that it has to do with stolen Israeli vehicles. One truck has a Palestinian license plate and the other has no license plate at all.
B. brings up a new complaint: as far as we know, between Arka, where he lives, and the Shachak industrial park, where he works, some gates are for the use of soldiers. If those gates would open for the convenience of the local residents, it would be a significant relief in their lives. The map proves his claim as to the proximity of locations. As to the issue of the gates, in our opinion it is worth looking into. He presents his 'Tasreech', his new passage permit . At its bottom there are new numbers. They turns out to be numbers of the road that leads to the industrial park (which apparently permits the holder of the permits to move about) #596 and # 6235.
At 6:30 pedestrian traffic is sparse. A few workers return from their night shift. The lower car park area on the Palestinian side, is empty of pickup trucks and there are no cars awaiting inspection. Whoever arrive at the checkpoint, gets in without delays.
Once again we notice that there are only a few who hold entrance permits into the Seamline zone.
Soldiers are already at the checkpoint, between the gates. After two minutes one wing of the gate opens up. On the other side we can see one car and a few people. Why such few wishing to go through? "There are no passage permits, perhaps only 8, 9" says one of the workers. Weeding and trimming olive trees is done by himself. And how does he make a living? more or less from the olive oil .
At 7:20 a group of children arrive in a van. Their school bags are inspected. The driver is inspected inside the booth. Is this a new procedure for drivers when entering the West Bank? Going up the hill are pupils with open notebooks on their way to an exam.
We heard that the reserve soldiers who are now stationed at the checkpoint are courteous and smiling. "Not like the other one who used to yell get out of here".
07:30 - Shahak industrial park
We tried locating the checkpoint (the gate) at the separation wall which B. has told us about, but to no avail. On the map one can usually see a dirt road between Arka and Shahak and on the OCHA map there is a sign of a checkpoint on the fence near that road.
On this occasion we've noticed the development going on at the industrial park, a new big building is going up.