Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Tue 28.12.10, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
06:00 Reihan checkpoint
The usual workers from the Shaked industrial area wait for their ride to work, others flow from the terminal to the upper parking lot where taxis await them. The area is full of life at this hour.
At the lower parking lot on the Palestinian side, taxis carrying passengers – most of them workers on their way to east Barta’a – come and go. T, the driver, arrives in a gleaming white car, proud of his recent acquisition: a 1983, but “drives like a dream.” He tells us about the new regulations on Palestinian roads – fines for speeding, for not wearing seatbelts, for talking on the phone while driving. The Palestinian Authority is making a lot of money from traffic violations. Two pickup trucks with agricultural produce wait for inspection; it will be conducted later.
06:40 Mavo Dothan checkpoint
On the way we pass Imreiha, the Bedouin village, and learn it contains three families, the largest of which is Abu Abed. Another is Turkman, some of whose members are taxi drivers at the Reihan checkpoint. Next to the Hermesh checkpoint, which is usually open, there’s a settlement of a small branch of the Turkman family which lives separately. Perhaps a village, perhaps just a Palestinian outpost.
We see dozens of school children on the road, on their way to the school in Yabed. They seldom come into contact with Jews, which may be why they respond to us hesitatingly.
The Dothan checkpoint is manned, but cars aren’t being allowed through yet. Supplies have come for the soldiers; the Palestinians wait from both directions until everything is unloaded from the army trucks to the building. The crossing is open day and night but is manned only part of the time, according to orders from higher up and specific circumstances.
07:30 Shaked (Tura) checkpoint (open, as of now, from 06:00 to 09:00)
The young pupils already crossed on their way to Tura from the seam zone – there are two mixed schools there (boys and girls together) – an elementary school with a kindergarten and a high school. Not like Yabed, where boys and girls learn separately. The teachers are now on their way to the seam zone. Those coming through the building report they had to wait a long time. We follow a group coming in our direction. People on their way to school wait 25 minutes. They tell us that the soldier in the building isn’t very adept and works slowly.
A mother arrives with her two daughters, who are younger than 16, without IDs, and it takes a long time to see whether they’re allowed to cross with their mother. Since the change in DCO staff we haven’t seen a DCO representative at the Tura checkpoint.