Reihan, Shaked, Sun 30.1.11, Afternoon
Translation: Bracha B.A.
14:50 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
1. A van from the West Bank is standing in the vehicle inspection area. After a few minutes it turns around and returns from where it came. The soldiers are not willing to explain why they did not let the driver through to the seam zone. 50 minutes later the van returns and goes through. Apparently the driver had attempted to bring several window frames without glass from Yaabed for his house in Dar el Malak, several hundred meters from the checkpoint. Yusef from the Liaison and Coordination Administration and the soldiers would not allow him to bring them across. The windows are presently in his aunt's house in Tura. He will have to pay NIS 400 to have them brought through the Reihan Barta'a checkpoint by another driver unless he gets permission from the Liaison and Coordination Administration.
2. A young woman from Dar al Malak tells us that she is not allowed to see her husband who is from Zubuva (ear Salem). The reason is not clear, since she came from the West Bank. The person who picked her up verified her story before they drove off.
3. Two young men who are lightly dressed despite the cold weather report that they had to undress in the inspection room.
4. A Rexton – an expensive land rover - covered with mud drives through the checkpoint without being checked. It has a white license plate with red numbers.
5. A woman and four lovely girls wait patiently for a half hour for someone to pick them up.
6. A young man from the West Bank tells us to get back into our car because it's cold outside.
Such is life at the checkpoints.
16:00 – Reihan-Barta'a Checkpoint
Three cars are waiting to be checked. Two Border Authority flags are fluttering on either side of the Israeli flag indicating a strong west wind. As usual at this time of day, the Palestinian parking lot is crowded and there are many workers hurrying down the sleeve to the terminal.
About 25 people, including a group of seamstresses who work in Barta'a, are waiting in front of the turnstile. Three detainees are waiting on the bench.
Three men come out of the terminal: a technician with a ladder, Ron, the manager of the terminal, and a checkpoint security guard: "We have to fix something here." Everyone goes through the second turnstile, the newer one, but it is locked. The seamstresses are let through to the front of the line. The repairman attempts to fix the connection between the lights above the second turnstile and the control booth. The line of people grows longer. Another window opens and the turnstile opens at 16:30. A woman with a crying baby in her arms comes through from the other side, barely able to make her way through the chaos. Meanwhile the turnstile which was repaired is also stuck and people are told to go through slowly to prevent it from getting stuck again. We are incensed that so many people are being made to wait outside in the bitter cold when they are in a hurry to get home. All of a sudden everyone is allowed to enter and five minutes later the entrance is empty.