Reihan, Shaked, Sun 21.2.10, Afternoon
Translation: Bracha B.A.
Shaked-Tura Checkpoint 15:10
Six soldiers are chatting leisurely at the checkpoint. Two cars arrive from the West Bank and the passengers and drivers enter the inspection booth. All come out within 10 minutes. A car also arrives from the seamline zone and passes through quickly. A few people pass through in both directions without delay. The area around the checkpoint is clean because the shepherds are concerned that the goats will eat plastic bags and have cleaned up the area.
Reihan Checkpoint 15:45
The upper parking lot is quiet. Occasionally a vehicle comes and drops off men and women workers from Barta'a who descend through the sleeve to the terminal. Two vehicles pass through the vehicle checkpoint towards the West bank. The passengers put their magnetic cards through the machine and drive through within five minutes. The children stop to play in the playground at the checkpoint. Three cars from the west Bank are stopped in front of the vehicle checkpoint for 10 minutes and are checked in the closed facility for more than 20 minutes. There is moderate pedestrian traffic to and from the terminal.
16:00 – The lower parking lot is filled with private cars, taxis, and commercial vehicles and it is difficult to drive through. Vans loaded with agricultural goods are also there trying to secure passage through the checkpoint the next morning and are having trouble finding a place to park. People coming out of the terminal report that they came through quickly.
16:15 – We descended through the sleeve through an increasing crowd of workers who came in through Irtah in the morning. They reported that this was the second day in a row that the checkpoint there opened at 04:00 and all 8 inspection booths were operating.
There are now 20 people waiting outside the terminal and they are being let in in groups of five. Inside the terminal there is only one window open. There are four people who were in Israel illegally who are being detained waiting to be taken care of.
There is a shift change in the inspection booths at 16:35. People begin to pass through from the West Bank and therefore no one is admitted going back to the West Bank. There is now a line of 100 people waiting outside, including women with babies. It becomes more crowded and congested in front of the turnstile.
At 16:40 another window opens, but the flow of workers coming in continues and only five people are let in each time, so the line outside is still long. The congestion and commotion continues. We spoke with Sharon, the person in charge of security, and asked them to let more people into the terminal at once to relieve the congestion in front of the turnstile. The phone call did not help. Sharon thinks that the people have to learn to wait in line in an orderly manner. Six people returning from Jenin manage to squeeze through the turnstile with difficulty.
At 16:55 one of the workers begins to direct traffic in front of the turnstile and the commotion dies down a bit. Amir, another security guard comes out to help. We left, hoping that things would quiet down. . .