Reihan, Shaked, Thu 4.8.11, Morning

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Shula Bar, (photos), Neta Golan (Reporting)

Translation: Bracha B.A.

06:05 – A'anin Checkpoint (Gate 214)


The checkpoint is quiet and there are no residents of A'anin present (See above photo).  Two military vehicles are standing by and the gate on the seamline zone side is open.  A woman soldier explained that they are dealing with a suspicious object.   Military vehicles, including a vehicle from the border patrol 

and a police vehicle for dismantling explosives come and go    At 06:25 the alert 

ended and the checkpoint returned to its usual routine (See photo below).   About 35 people, the donkey, and seven tractors wait in the middle of the checkpoint.  The soldiers call them to approach one by one and they cross quickly.     At 07:00 a few people and three tractors are still waiting to cross.  One person without a permit is sent back and negotiations are discussed with another person. 

07:10 – Shaked-Tura Checkpoint Gate 300

A herd of goats and their shepherd cross to the seamline zone.   A transit crosses to the West Bank.  A few people are waiting next to the turnstile at the entrance to the inspection facility.

07:30 – The Bridge opposite Zibda - Both gatesinfo-icon on both sides are locked with two steel arms as usual.  Ten cars are parked behind the gate leading to Kafin and Tulkarem.  Evidently their drivers prefer to park there rather than drive all the way to the Reihan-Barta'a Checkpoint.     

07:45 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint, the Palestinian Side

There are only a few people here at this hour.  Only one vehicle is waiting to have its cargo checked.  The drivers at the checkpoint talk about their difficulties in making a living.  Registered taxis have priority over private vehicles for transporting people, and often the private drivers have no passengers at all, and sit and doze under the shed.  They have no other alternative way of making a living.    A bus leaves East Barta'a for Jenin each day at 07:30 and returns again at 13:00.  The bus fare is NIS 7.00, and the taxi fare is NIS 10.00.  There is also a bus from Jenin to Salem, and the fare is also NIS 7.00.   The people here do not believe in a Palestinian state and have no trust in the Palestinian Authority – it's enough to see who they are concerned with and where the money goes.  "The best thing would be for there to be peace and for us to go work in Israel freely like we used to."    

08:10 – One of the charcoal factories in the area was closed by Israel because of the smoke that bothered the settlers and instead young workers work there packing charcoal from Egypt.  This does not produce smoke.  The old rusty bus that served as a shelter for the workers was demolished by Israeli soldiers or soldiers from the border patrol.   

08:25 – the new fountain at the entrance to East Barta'a is complete, and colorful signs advertise a bazaar for school supplies in Hebrew.  The town is still quiet at this early time of day.