Reihan, Shaked, Tue 21.12.10, Morning

Lea R', Anna Nash (reporting)

Bartaa-Rihan checkpoint
Many workers are going through the passage on their way to work. Following the rate of passage shows it lasts a few minutes. In the parking lot we find some sleepy drivers, who inform us that the seamstresses have passed at 05.30, when the checkpoint was opened. Two pickup trucks loaded with fruit and vegetables are waiting to be called for inspection.

A taxi arrives from the bridge, unloading workers and laborers on their way to the seam zone and East Bartaa . Around 7 o'clock an Israeli bus from the west bank arrives and pupils from the settlements are transferred to another bus. At the checkpoint they pass from their shielded vehicle to a public bus which will take them to their schools in Israel. Here they receive every morning a lesson in civic awareness, and they can directly observe the humiliation of Palestinians, who are delayed for checking of their papers and vehicles, while Israeli cars are speeding through a route reserved for Israelis only. Are these youngsters aware of the site they are in, or the area in which they live? What do they know about their neighbours which have to wait while they are passing on? What are they being told at school about their beautiful country?

7.00  Tura-Shaked checkpoint.
Palestinians emerge from the checking booth holding their belts in their hands. One of them tells us about a protracted, tiresome check and nagging questions, another says the passage was swift.

Palestinian pupils arrive, and pass in line in front of a soldier who examines their schoolbags. The adults, male and female, including female students, pass the check. The whole proceedings are performed in most orderly fashion. One of them says "only pass and be done with it". Another says:"let them do what they want, so long as they don't bother us". They wait for the teacher who is still being checked, and then will travel to their schools in thr area.

7.30 We left on our way to Jalame