Reihan, Shaked, Sun 14.8.11, Morning
Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint 05:55
At the upper parking lot one of the workers reports that today "everything is OK", but a seamstress reports that the machine is broken and that one of her friends is delayed. She is waiting for her and is worried.
One of the guards in the position on the hill above the sleeve suddenly jumps out in terror shouting that there is a huge bug in his position. Laughter resounds in the terminal and echoes, and he attacks it with a rock, which lands at our feet. He then attacks it with a stick. It is evidently a large praying mantis. He is told he'll be in the headlines on their website…
While we descend the sleeve we are told that there is a lot of disorder in the terminal today. The conveyer belt on which people put their belongings is broken and everyone has to put their things on the only one that it working. We hear loud voices from the terminal and people come out slowly and sporadically. We are told that it is crowded near the turnstile at the entrance to the terminal and on the side of the West Bank. S.A. reports that it took him 20 minutes to get through, which is longer than usual.
At 06:35 we are told that there are no longer any people waiting inside.
Two vans which we saw when we arrived at 06:00 this morning are still standing at the West Bank side. A Transit going towards the West Bank is meticulously examined. H., our driver, informs us that all the Transits that are now waiting for workers have already managed to go and come back.
07:00 – Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
The checkpoint is closed and there are no soldiers in sight. However, the area around the checkpoint has been cleaned up and the ugly red plastic barricade has been removed, as well as the yellow sign that was sloppily hung on the gate.
At 07:09 an armored car arrives from the West Bank and a soldier gets out, opens the inner gate, and looks around. Evidently he is surprised that the checkpoint is closed and locks the gate behind him, and continues to drive east along the fence.
At 07:14 a line of soldiers make their way slowly towards the checkpoint.
At 07:17 the inner gate opens and three soldiers, who do not respond to our "good morning," take up their positions and wait. After 3 minutes 3 more soldiers arrive.
The inspection booth opens at 07:22 and the generator goes on a minute later. The command car comes back to the seamline zone.
At 07:24 a soldier opens the gate for pedestrians. About 20 people approach the turnstile through a new fenced-in sleeve. Hanna has heard an explanation about the need for this sleeve as an important security element, and that this checkpoint is about to be converted into a full-fledged terminal. At 07:28 the vehicle gate is opened for a man riding on a donkey.
At 07:30, the first worker enters the seamline zone, a half hour late. Everyone crossed within ten minutes, but at least one of the workers missed his ride and decided to return home. They have lost a day’s work.