Reihan, Shaked, Tue 26.4.11, Morning

Leah R., Anna N.S.

Translator: Charles K.

06:10 Reihan-Barta’a checkpoint

Today people aren’t allowed to enter Israel from the West Bank. The only people permitted to leave are those working in the seam zone, like those who work for Shahak and the seamstresses working in eastern Barta’a. So traffic is light, but a relatively large number of pickup trucks carrying food are waiting for inspection.

07:00 Shaked-Tura checkpoint

The opening hours have changed – 06:00 to 07:30, and 12:30 to 20:00. Pupils cross as usual, their satchels held open for inspection; others go to the inspection building. Relatively few people came today, or maybe they went through before we arrived. A resident of Dahar al Malik is very upset about the change in checkpoint hours. He says the checkpoint closes for too long. People going to medical clinics, family visits or errands, and pupils who’ve taken exams will now have to wait until 12:30 to return home. He drove his wife and son (who’s a month-and-a-half old) to the clinic and was afraid she wouldn’t be able to get back by 9:30 and would have to wait three more hours. He said the change was imposed on them without coordinating with the local council (unlike what the army claims).

A. says that when they decided to open the checkpoint earlier to make it easier for the farmers, they didn’t consider that others would be harmed by the decision (?). The argument that people can return to the West Bank via the Barta’a checkpoint when the Shaked checkpoint is closed would be ludicrous, if it weren’t so sad. That solution forces a significantly longer and more expensive trip that without the checkpoint would have taken only a few minutes. The frustrated, angry man we spoke with apparently hadn’t noticed he was living under an occupation regime that pretends to be enlightened and considerate, that his land as well as his neck are gripped by others’ hands which will tighten or release, as they choose. “The occupation routine.”

07:30 We left.