Reihan, Shaked, Sun 25.7.10, Morning

Leah R., Ruthi T., (Reporting)


06:10: Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint
Our acquaintance B. tells us about difficult problems at the checkpoint during the afternoon. 

Two busses from the West Bank are maneuvering to back up next to the first entrance to the inspection facility.  This is unusual and we signal them to wait for us so that we can ask them what is going on.  They were planning to  pick up children in the summer camp in Barta'a to take them to the water park in Tul Karem and to the zoo in Kalkilya.  They claim that they have permits, but they are turned back because they were told there is no time to check them.  They wait in a small parking area near the checkpoint. 
We call the Liaison and Coordination Administration to try and make things go faster because the children are waiting for them in Barta'a.  Y. from the Liaison and Coordination Administration claims that they did not receive the documents to allow the children to cross. 
Meanwhile tenders with merchandise drive up to the inspection facility. Naza, the person now in charge, explains that there is no arrangement to let 100 children cross the checkpoint but as soon as they receive permits they will be given "top priority." He explains that usually they see to it that the papers are presented on time.  This time they apparently forgot and the matter is being dealt with in the Barta'a regional council.  
A transit emitting black smoke is standing where A.'s car usually stands.  Someone remarks that the black smoke is a result of gasoline from the territories.  At 06:40 10 vehicles come out of the inspection facility and at 06:45  a tender, two transits, and two private cars drive up to be checked.  The busses that were supposed to take the children are still waiting.  We took the drivers' phone numbers so that we would be able to check how things turned out later on.  

07:05 – Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Two soldiers are attempting to start the generator.  We ask if it were not preferable to turn it on before the checkpoint opens in order not to delay workers going to work and they tell us to lodge our complaints with the government.  There are about 12 people near the turnstile and at least 4 cars waiting on the other side as well as a herd of goats.  
There are no cars at the gate close to us and two young men are waiting next to the concrete barrier. Finally the generator comes to life.  Several small children wait for the shepherd to come out of the inspection booth.  Meanwhile J. arrives in his blue transit and crosses within nine minutes.  At 07:20 the first workers cross through to the seamline zone  and the vehicles and flock of goats and the shepherd.  He waves the children off and tells them to go home because it is too hot to be outside.  At 08:00 everyone has gone through and two cars are waiting.  We made a phone call and learned that the two busses were still waiting at Reihan Barta'a. 

08:10 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint

We returned to the checkpoint to find that the two busses were driving up to the first inspection point.   We drove with them to Barta'a where over 100 children had been waiting in the schoolyard since 07:00 and another vehicle was already present with teachers and counselors.  The children pile onto the busses and are then told to get off so that they can be checked against the list.  At 09:30 the busses arrive at the checkpoint and the process of calling out each child's name begins.  Amir who is now in charge from the Liaison and Coordination Administration claims that the entire episode was the fault of the organizers who failed to present the proper documents in time.  The head of the regional council claims that there was no one at the Liaison and Coordination Administration to present the lists to on Friday or Saturday.  One of the workers at the checkpoint's upper parking lot told us that his three children were going on the trip and one of them had woken up at 03:00 in the morning because he was so excited.  They had been waiting in the school parking lot since 06:00.  Finally all the children went through and were on their way.    .