Reihan, Shaked, Wed 17.11.10, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
The Feast of the Sacrifice (Eid el Adha); lots of action at the Shaked-Tura checkpoint
8:30 Shaked-Tura checkpoint
People wait beyond the fence, on the checkpoint’s eastern side, to cross to the seam zone. Three cars and seven families waiting to cross to the West Bank. All are dressed festively, accompanied by many children, for holiday visits. Women were brought in groups to the inspection building to avoid creating a line at the entrance.
Of course, by 9:00, when the checkpoint closes (to reopen at 12:00), not everyone managed to cross. In particular, those who still haven’t crossed included people wishing to visit relatives in the seam zone. They’ve come with baskets and packages of holiday presents and perhaps that’s why their crossing was delayed. But this fact didn’t change the decision to close the gate at the usual time, 9 AM. I phoned the DCO to tell them not everyone managed to cross. They gave me the cellphone number of an officer, a Druze. I called him; he yelled at me that Machsom Watch women dare to bother him on his holiday (the Druze also celebrate the Feast of the Sacrifice at this time). In his opinion, the people could have come at 6 AM, when the checkpoint opened, and they would have gone through on time. I said I thought they could let them through, because they’d arrived before 9, and people don’t make holiday visits at 6 in the morning. He didn’t agree, and people were forced to wait until 12 to cross. To my sorrow, I was unable to help.
09:30 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint
No trucks with goods, and no cars belonging to workers and merchants from Barta’a in the parking lot.
Many families crossing to visit relatives in Barta’a in the seam zone; other families crossing for visits on the West Bank. All were accompanied by many children, and in holiday dress. People crossed quickly to the West Bank. I wasn’t able to see how long it took to cross into the seam zone.
Many cars drove from the seam zone to the West Bank. Taxi drivers also made money.
11:15 I left the festive atmosphere at the checkpoint.