Reihan, Shaked, Sun 12.6.11, Afternoon
Reihan CP – 16:55-18:00
This time we arrived later than usual for the afternoon shift, because of personal circumstances. But we discovered that we had done the right thing in coming at such a late hour. We went down the sleeve, and there were practically no people there. We were used to thinking of this as rush hour, when workers are returning from work. The stream of workers was very thin and no one was waiting. One window was open, but quite quickly, even though there did not seem to be an urgent need for it, a second one was opened as well. From time to time people went through from the West Bank to the seamline zone – there were a few women with children and even fewer men.
During the first hour we were there people arrived in groups of five and entered with no problems. From time to time, we saw one or two detainees; the largest number of detainees at any time was six, but they too were released within half an hour and were called to go through. Toward 6 o'clock the pressure grew with about twenty people, but the atmosphere was calm and there were no problems.
A moving moment for us was seeing the arrival of Ali K and his parents. Ali was allowed 'a vacation' of two days from the Rambam Hospital before the next course of implantation treatment. We made sure that they opened the gate at the side for him, so that he wouldn't have to be crowded together with the workers. We wished him a quick recovery.
An issue that we encountered once again: Workers who work in Israel leave through Taibeh in the morning. Since the Reihan CP is defined as a CP of 'Everyday Life' [Mirkam Hahayim], and it is designated for the residents of the seamline zone and especially for East Barta'a; in principle it is impossible to go through Reihan to get to Israel. Workers are allowed – by courtesy of the head of the CP, and supposedly by 'stretching' the limits of the law – to return to the West Bank through the Reihan CP. This is done because for employers it is more convenient to drive workers here after the day's work.
What would be more logical and certainly better and more just than having this CP located on the green line, and so have what appears to be a borderline CP and acts like a borderline CP would indeed be on the border?
Since we had to leave, we did not stay here very long and as a matter of fact there was not much activity. A few people went through in the direction of the West Bank, including two cars whose drivers went to be inspected before they brought the cars for inspection. The clock was moving close to 7 and we could not find out if the gate was supposed to close at seven or at seven thirty. The soldiers did not know, and the Palestinians said that the correct closing time was seven-thirty.