Reihan, Shaked, Sun 28.10.07, Morning
Leah R, Chana H (reporting)
06:15 - 09:21
06:15 Rihan Checkpoint
We were told that the checkpoint opened at 05:45. The first workers are coming out. All the younger ones are delayed 20 minutes in the inspection rooms, the older come out straight away. Three women are sitting outside, waiting for their colleagues who travel together to work. The seven other women come out after 30 minutes in which they were delayed in the inspection rooms. Again the impression that the women are held for longer. From the Seam Zone to the West Bank the transit is fast. Two stations are operating in the terminal. Those coming out tell us that the terminal is full of people. The garden is growing and developing beautifully.
07:03 Shaked (Tura) Checkpoint
The checkpoint was opened but so far no one has come through: this time, for a change, there is a hitch with the key to the inspection room. On the West Bank side, 30 people and cars are waiting. At 07:10 the children begin to pass. The smaller ones do not have their bags checked. Those aged 12 and over are checked thoroughly. In parallel, people are crossing from the West Bank to the Seam Zone via the inspection room – at this stage very slowly. At 07:20 the transit is faster. Three teachers come from Tura to Um Rihan every day, and they have to be in school by 07:15, but since the checkpoint only opens at 07:00 (on the good days) and since they have to be listed, they are late every day. They are trying to act through the mukhtar of Um Rihan, but so far there is no progress. A woman teacher crosses to the West Bank through the inspection room – in one minute. We leave at 07:40 and traffic is still lively in both directions.
07:50 Rihan (Bartaa) Checkpoint
The first three vehicles with goods are still in the inspection compound. Thirteen more vehicles are waiting in the parking lot, and the stacks of egg trays are divided between them. At 07:55 vehicles come out, but no new ones enter because a private car is still being checked in front of the gate: twenty wasted minutes of produce standing in the sun and heat.
Four vehicles with produce (one with meat not in line) enter early check at 08:00. One is sent back because his load is too high. The driver backs up and removes 10 boxes, but he has lost his place in the current check.
At 08:35 three more vehicles enter preliminary check and vehicles are released from the compound at 09:00 while 12 more are waiting. Vehicles without produce are checked in fours by mirror and manual inspection during 20-25 minutes, while nylon bags and other packages are taken into the compound. Transit of pedestrians from the West Bank to the Seam Zone continues for 5-20 minutes.
In talking to people, two problems arose:
1. It is clear that the civilian company has taken on itself another role of protecting security, and has decided to lessen the quota of eggs passing through the checkpoint. According to their accounting, it is not possible that "every resident of the Seam Zone will eat 12 eggs a day." Is it their role to supervise the quantities that go through the checkpoint?
2. There are residents of the West Bank who are being fined by Israel Police, but after paying the fine there is sometimes need to clarify certain things or cancel some rulings – but they have no possibility of reaching the police station in Baqa el Garbiye, or even of sending mail to Israel. That’s the problem. What’s the solution?