Reihan, Shaked, Sun 23.1.11, Morning

Chanan H., Ruti T

Translator:  Charles K.

6:05  Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint

We can see over the walls of the vehicle inspection area that vehicles are being unloaded.  Laborers who’ve just come out of the terminal tell us that “today’s OK,” but then they remember that the biometric devices are having problems, that the women are cold when they’re required to remove coats and jackets in these freezing temperatures, and “one female staffer with short hair” is harassing the people crossing, sending them hither and yon.

Many laborers came out until 6:20.  Two men, who were in Israel illegally, sat on a bench.  At 6:30 someone comes out, claiming he’d been inside since 5:50.

Two heavily laden pickup trucks in the Palestinian parking lot.  Four wait on the road. 

6:50 – Many laborers waiting for rides in the upper parking lot, on the seam zone side.

6:59  Shaked/Tura checkpoint

The closer gate is already open, and the one in the rear opens exactly at 7:00.  A few people approach the revolving gate.  The old man with the white donkey ties it to a pole in the checkpoint area and goes back toward the revolving gate, trips, falls, and with great difficulty manages to stand again with the help of people who also brush off his clothing.  There seem to be new obstacles – piles of rubble used for construction at the site.

At 7:07 the first person comes through to the seam zone.  A few people come from the West Bank.

Two cars, one belonging to a teacher and the second to a school principal, wait in front of the gate.  The first enters for inspection at 7:08, as does one from the other side.  Car inspections seem very rigorous this morning.  The soldier kneels, looks underneath, feels the upholstery inside the doors, inspects a large envelope filled with papers and also uses the wand.  The car is there for ten minutes.  A passenger in the principal’s car has to get out after an argument.  She finally stands outside the car for a few seconds and then sits back inside.  She looks very pregnant.

At 7:25 two pupils arrive without briefcases, holding books.  The soldier checks them with the wand.  That’s an innovation here.  A 20-day school vacation begins today.  Only older pupils come through, on their way to exams.  One is asked to lift up his sweater.

7:35  Three women stand at the door to the inspection room.  One enters after 6 minutes.  Meanwhile, a soldier with a wand goes over to a car standing at the inspection station to check an old women seated inside while the driver goes to the inspection room.

7:50  No more cars or pedestrians on the other side.  There seems to have been less activity than usual at the checkpoint his morning.