Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Sun 8.1.12, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Tura (Shaked) checkpoint 07:05-07:35
The checkpoint's gates are open and traffic flows. People aren’t held up at the turnstile on the Tura side, and there's no line of cars waiting to enter Palestinian Authority territory. The banker arrives at the checkpoint from his village, on foot. He's bought a new car but doesn’t yet have a permit to enter and leave from Tura, only from Barta’a. So he leaves the car at Tura and walks home and to the checkpoint.
Pupils crossing through the checkpoint
A few children aged about nine arrive on foot from nearby Daher al-Malk. The school transport arrives at the same time with about 15 children, in kindergarten and the lower grades. They leave the vehicle and run happily toward the checkpoint, opening their schoolbags for the female soldier to inspect (she’s armed but her weapon isn’t cocked; a soldier nearby guards her, also armed but not pointing his gun at the children). She peeks into the bags; the children run quickly to the Tura exit gate. At the same time Y., the driver, leaves his vehicle outside the gate, walks to the inspection building, returns to the vehicle, and drives toward the soldiers, who open the doors and peek in. He then exits the checkpoint toward Tura and picks up any children who need a ride. Some of them walk on their own to the village school.
Barta’a (Reihan) checkpoint 07:45-8:20
The parking lot is almost full but no one is double-parked yet. The new “kiosk” stands next to the prayer corner; a friendly guy offers his wares: coffee, tea, cigarettes and sweets.
We left a letter with him, from Chana to someone from Yabed village, explaining what he must do to obtain a permit to work in Israel. After some misunderstanding (T., wearing a red keffiyeh, offered to take the letter to Yabed for NIS 50, but the owner of the kiosk eventually understood that the person would come pick it up from him and everything was arranged).
A pickup truck loaded with merchandise waited to be called for document inspection. He’s the only one for now, and seems to be waiting until more vehicles arrive. The first wave of merchandise inspections apparently hasn’t been completed yet (the inspection includes unloading all the merchandise wrapped in plastic, inspecting all the items, putting them back into the plastic wrapping and leaving. The entire procedure, involving Palestinian porters and inspectors who are apparently Israelis, takes place behind closed doors and lasts about two hours).
Mevo Dothan checkpoint 08:30-08:40
We left a bag containing women’s clothing in the village (with a woman who wanted a ride to Jenin but then realized that we weren’t going there). We didn’t have any children’s clothing.
At the Dothan checkpoint, as usual, the soldiers saw us from afar and approached to warn us not to cross into Area A. The soldiers are apparently an ultra-Orthodox Nahal unit. A long line of vehicles is visible coming from Jenin, and another line has already formed on our side. Although vehicles going to Jenin must cross “wahad-wahad” (one-by-one), they’re not inspected. Vehicles coming from Jenin have only their documents inspected, because the road doesn’t lead to Israel but to other Palestinian villages.
We understood that things would go faster if we left, so we did. Later, in Barta’a (where we went to bring warm clothing to our friend W., whom we’ve known since he was a youth), we heard that yesterday ( On Saturday? The ultra-Orthodox Nahal unit?) there was a long line and soldiers conducted a very slow, careful inspection, and it was hard.