Reihan, Shaked, Sun 12.9.10, Morning

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Chana H., Ruthie T. (reporting)

Translator:  Charles K.

06:00 Reihan – Barta’a
There are no vehicles for transporting laborers in the upper parking lot.  A guard comes out of the deserted inspection area, looks around, returns and locks up.  Men, most of them in festive clothing, come up from the terminal.  Some intend to visit relatives, others are merchants.  An ironworker from the SHAHAK industrial zone says “the holiday wasn’t so happy.  Men younger than 33 stay at home, annoyed.  They can’t get permits.”

06:15  The terminal is quiet.  Four youths, some with small suitcases, are on their way to the West Bank.  Three are from Barta’a, on their way to Germany via Amman.  They show their Palestinian passports proudly.  The exit of the fourth, from Haifa, is delayed slightly, but finally he also leaves.  The lower parking lot is closed to cars today because it is being thoroughly cleaned – according to Sharon, who allows one of the drivers to bring his car to the edge of the lot in order to pick up the few passengers who arrive.

Almost 07:00 – Shaked-Tura
Even though what’s called “daylight savings time” also starts on the Israeli side today, and the clocks on both sides of the fence are now synchronized, the gatesinfo-icon are still locked and there’s not a living soul at the checkpoint.  A Bedouin family that arrived in a minivan from the A’anin area sits down to wait in the shed.  They’re on their way to visit in Jenin.  A flocks of goats is visible on the other side.

At 07:25 the gates open for a moment so an armored vehicle can go through.  A Border Police officer promises to find out why the checkpoint is closed.  Meanwhile Y., the driver, arrives, who actually knows that today’s the last day it opens at 08:00.  Beginning tomorrow, it’s again supposed to open at 07:00.  The day after tomorrow, Tuesday, pupils return to school.  Y. tells us that on Friday he arrived at the checkpoint slightly before 10:00 but wasn’t allowed through because, he was told, there wasn’t enough time until the soldiers went on their break.  So he crossed at Reihan.  “They spent two hours inspecting the car.  They checked every screw.”