Mevo Dotan (Imriha), Reihan, Shaked, Sun 15.1.12, Afternoon
Ruthi T., Yochi A., (Reporting)
Translation: Bracha B.A.
15:10 – Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Two soldiers approached us and told us not to get any closer to the checkpoint. There is little traffic. A few people cross from the West Bank to the seamline zone: one with a bag of pita bread, a student with a book, and three men are carrying new chairs. A heavy military vehicle with a shovel crosses the checkpoint and returns with a shovel full of good black earth. When we looked for it later we saw that at the checkpoint they are preparing a garden. A tractor loaded with plastic strips crosses to the West Bank with almost no inspection. The driver goes through the inspection facility.
We left at 15:40.
15:50 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint
There is a new bucket hanging above the well at the entrance which is very decorative. 12 trucks are waiting to be checked.
We continued towards the Dotan Checkpoint. The charcoal factories in the area are not working and there is no smoke and no smell. (There was an order given to close the charcoal factories.) A soldier informs us that the charcoal factories were closed because of the carcinogenic materials they were exuding and because the trees being used were stolen. We remind him that many families had been earning their living for hundreds of years from the work in the charcoal factories and now have no jobs. We asked him how he felt about that and his reply was, "very good."
16:15 – Dotan Checkpoint – the checkpoint is manned and cars are undergoing a quick inspection. There is a brief exchange with the drivers and a quick peep inside each car. On back at the exit from the Barta'a checkpoint we are delayed for a long time. The clerk confers with someone on the phone. Finally she checks the trunk of the car and lets us through. At 16:20 an armed guard leaves the inspection facility, walks into the middle of the road, and looks at the workers coming back. Four cars leave the inspection facility. Two are driven by women.
There are a lot of people going into the sleeve. Workers are being dropped off by Israeli and Palestinian employers. Two windows are open in the terminal and people are going through quickly. A woman who speaks Hebrew with an Israeli passport crosses from the West Bank to her home in West Barta'a (on the Israeli side) with her three children. She is waiting for her husband who is still being checked. Everyone speaks Hebrew. She is a little nervous and explains that this is the first time she has going through the checkpoint. There is one detainee sitting on the bench.
We left at 17:00.