Reihan, Shaked, Tue 3.5.11, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Basheer’s wife had the operation in her second eye and feels good. Basheer thanks all who helped her and wished her well: “Give everyone regards, from me, my wife and all the children. We’re waiting to see you – come visit us.”
On the way to the checkpoint we see a Palestinian flag proudly flying from the roof of the Umm Reihan school (visible to all who pass by).
06:10 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint
Many pickup trucks loaded with produce from the West Bank waiting to be inspected before crossing to the seam zone. We talk with the drivers and hear about the hardships of daily life on the West Bank.
People want to join the Palestine Police. But they only accept people over 30. The salary isn’t great, NIS 2000, and most of the soldiers have families.
A resident of Umm Reihan proudly tells us that the village has been connected to the electrical and water grids. He also says that, with the help of a lawyer, the village is pressure to relocate the road from the village to the school (I didn’t understand where it was) on which there had been traffic accidents in which pupils were involved. Regarding the flag he says with satisfaction: “People [Israelis] who drive by see a Palestinian flag, think they’re in the West Bank - and turn around.” He’s now trying to organize a group of Israelis and Palestinians to talk about peace.
People on their way to work cross through the checkpoint freely. Occasionally an army Hummer appears from somewhere or other, the checkpoint closes and everything stops until the heavy vehicle goes away and the checkpoint gates open again.
Dothancheckpoint – Even when soldiers are there, it’s not an obstacle or a problem – drivers drive by without stopping.
07:00 Shaked-Tura checkpoint
A soldier photographs us. I offer to sign the photo but he doesn’t reply. What can you do.
The checkpoint opens at 06:00. Traffic flows. Laborers crossed early in the morning; now the teachers are going through. Soon the children will arrive, packed like sardines in the pickup truck, bursting out running toward the checkpoint with satchels gaping open. The occupation apparatus is well-oiled.
The residents are trying to get extended the hours during which the checkpoint is open in the morning, to make it easier for those coming from the seam zone to Tura and has to hurry back. They want to the checkpoint to be stay open.