Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Thu 13.1.11, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
06:10 – 06:40 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint
Laborers from the West Bank arrive in vehicles and on foot at the Palestinian parking lot and are swallowed up in the terminal. One says that it (the terminal) should be demolished. He’s right. Young men and women go from the seam zone to the West Bank to their jobs and schools.
Large numbers of egg cartons piled under the canopy, being loaded onto two pickup trucks. A driver tells us that a pickup truck is allowed to carry 130 cartons, and there are five authorized to transport eggs.
Vehicles wait on the seam zone side to transport laborers. Other laborers wait for transportation by the roadside.
Shaked checkpoint 06:50 - 07:15
Lit by a glorious sunrise, five male and three female soldiers walk from Shaked base to the checkpoint. One car is already waiting on the seam zone side, and a few are waiting to cross from the West Bank. The gates of the checkpoint and the inspection building open a few minutes before 7. People cross at the “usual” rate – 4 wait at the door to the building on the seam zone side, and about 15 on the West Bank side.
08:15 – 09:00 Jalameh checkpoint
Trucks without drivers, and trailers not connected to vehicles wait near the area where merchandise is transferred back-to-back. Apparently they’re keeping their place on line.
Cars belonging to Israeli Arabs go through the checkpoint on their way to Jenin.
The gates of the terminal are closed. A driver who lives in Nazareth who’s waiting for passengers explains that the workers in the terminal are on a break until about 8:45 or 9:00.
The break doesn’t affect the Palestinians returning at this hour to the West Bank. They go through a corridor alongside the terminal through an open gate and continue to the West Bank. In the parking lot between the checkpoint and the Palestinian gas station wait yellow taxis and Palestinian cars are parked. I’m told that this arrangement, in which people cross to the West Bank bypassing the terminal, has been in place for about a month.
A polite security man approaches me to remind me that I’m forbidden to enter the terminal and to photograph. I ask about the workers’ break and say that I’m waiting for parents accompanying a sick infant to take them to Rambam hospital. The security man says they’ve already entered the terminal, and that “humanitarian cases” are still processed during the break. It turns out there are long breaks when there’s no congestion. The morning break begins after the laborers go through. The security man says that it’s not so terrible for a merchant to have to wait a little, “no more than ten minutes.” The reality is slightly different. The parents and infant, who’s 1 ½ years old, came out of the terminal after having been inside half an hour. The father said they first waited about an hour before entering the terminal. He said that when he told them they were hurrying to an examination, he was told “Why didn’t you arrive early?”