Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Sun 3.7.11, Morning
Translated by Ilil Naveh-Benjamin
At 6:20, S.A., our informant, reports by phone that approximately 200-300 people are waiting at the terminal in the Reihan checkpoint. We call Sharon. He knows about it and is taking care of the problem.
The checkpoint was already open on the seam zone side when we arrived, and has just been opened for those waiting on the other side, about twenty people. By 7:20 everyone has gone through: the well-dressed banker has crossed to the West Bank, and the goats and labourers, to the seam zone.
One of the laborers is a Tura resident whose house is familiar to all of us, right across the fence. He works in the industrial park near Shaked, about a five-minute drive from his home, but he must go each time through the Reihan checkpoint instead of the Tura checkpoint. This morning, growing weary of the long lines at Reihan (mentioned above), he remembered he had a special permit to cross at Tura for two days, thanks to a wedding in the seam zone. So he returned to his village, went through Tura, and made it to work on time. These daily trips to work through Reihan cost him 600 shekels a month. How much time he wastes doing this we couldn’t estimate since he was in a hurry to leave. He had time only to tell us that all his pleas to cross at the checkpoint near him home (the Life fabric checkpoint) were refused.
At 7:35 we passed by the Reihan checkpoint and saw the terminal was empty. We continued to the Dotan checkpoint.
The checkpoint is manned, but movement is brisk, without delays. A female driver in an Israeli car stops and asks if we need help. She’s lived in Mevo Dotan for 20 years, she says. She works in a kitchen at the Reihan checkpoint and has never heard of Machsom Watch. She tells us of her difficult life in this hostile environment (“they blind us at night with their cars, driving 160 kmh and running us off the road. They’ve also thrown stones at my son’s car.”) But she doesn’t intend to leave. “The soldiers are like my own sons,” she says, adding that she often pampers them with cake. Meanwhile, three soldiers approach us, one of them with long blond sideburns (pe’ot). “Do you want to take my place?” He asks us, offering up his helmet and rifle. “You hate your own people.” He doesn’t listen to our answer and leaves.
The parking lot on the Palestinian side is filling up. Most of the trucks and jeeps we saw on our way to Mavo Dotan have already gone in for examination. People go into the terminal with no delays.