'Anin, Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Thu 4.3.10, Afternoon
Bracha B.A., Translation
15:00 A'anin Checkpoint
A few people, four tractors, and a donkey are waiting to pass through. People again tell us about the difficulties of obtaining permits.
Everyone had passed through by 15:20 and the gates of the checkpoint remained open until 15:30.
15:00 – Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
There are a more people here than usual. A woman from Dir al Malk arrives with four small children. One of the children runs ahead of her, obviously feeling at home at the checkpoint.
16:00 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint
The Palestinian parking lot is completely filled with cars belonging to merchants from Barta'a. There is another parking lot not far from the checkpoint. We did not even try to park, but drove on to the Dotan Checkpoint.
16:10 – Dotan Checkpoint
The pillbox near the checkpoint is not manned. The checkpoint is near Mevo Dotan on the road to Jenin. A car is being checked and the cover of a small truck is being removed. Other cars go through without being checked. The soldier says that the checkpoint is manned from morning to evening but is not willing to give us details regarding passage at night. The seamstresses who live in Jenin and work in Barta'a open the windows of the car and greet us happily. We are old friends.
16:40 Barta'a Checkpoint
The lower parking lot is still packed with cars. We park in the upper parking lot and go down the sleeve to the opening of the terminal. Students from the seamline zone who study in Jenin come up towards us and a lot of workers walk down with us. Only two windows are open and they are unable to keep up with the flow of workers who are arriving.
By 17:00 200 people were waiting outside. Sharon, the manager of the checkpoint, tells us that it is Thursday, and one of the workers tells us that this is the way it is on Thursdays. In another few minutes a third window opens and a supervisor arrives to put things in order. Occasionally women and children go through in the direction of Barta'a and people go through the same turnstile in both directions.
17:15 Workers continue to arrive but the line now moves more quickly. A worker who lives in Jenin and works in Tel Aviv complains about what is going on at the Jalameh Crossing in the morning and that the checkpoint only opens at 05:00. Another worker says that it is easier at Irtah in the morning since the checkpoint opens at 04:00.
17:30 – We left. Three cars are waiting to be checked on their way to the West Bank and three are waiting to go through to Barta'a. Children who are waiting with their mothers are playing in the playground. One of the drivers tells us about the difficulty of making a living. He explains that the increasing business in East Barta'a is benefitting residents of the West Bank who don't live in Barta'a. They employ members of their families in businesses and construction and the local residents are left without work. A permit to work in Israel is a difficult dream to fulfill.