ג'למה, מבוא דותן (אמריחה), ריחן, שקד, יום א' 10.6.12, בוקר
Translator: Charles K.
07:00 Shaked checkpoint
I haven’t been here for a few months, and found a “new” checkpoint. Everything’s paved, fenced corridors, even traffic lights! It’s shiny and new but still can’t hide the fact that it divides one village in two, two neighborhoods separated by agricultural land.
It looks as if the checkpoint is being privatized and is spreading beyond the border (whose existing location is completely illegitimate, just like its big brother, the Reihan checkpoint).
Everything adds up to the following statement: I’m here, and I’ll be here forever.
Is anyone still hoping for two states for two peoples?
Crossing proceeds normally, the Shahaknight shift workers return from their jobs wearing “Carmel Carpets” shirts. I assume that in the morning people still go to work through the Reihan checkpoint, which opens at 5 AM, not at 7. Apparently cars are supposed to obey the traffic light, not the wave of the hand indicating they should come through. I didn’t see them in action; what are the traffic lights for? Pupils are already on vacation. A few female students crossed, and one male. Many laborers went through to their jobs in the seam zone.
08:00 Reihan checkpoint
The lower parking lot is almost completely full. About five vehicles loaded with produce wait to be called for the tiresome inspection procedure. At the exit from the fenced corridor many taxis wait to transport laborers to jobs in Barta’a.
More traffic than usual in both directions. Occasionally IDs are inspected. A few youths were lined up next to a taxi and each presented an ID for inspection.
We’re known here; no one paid us any particular attention.
A “legitimate” border crossing, on the Green Line. A heavy flow of cars belonging to Arab Israelis crosses fairly quickly toward Jenin. Many come to visit relatives on Saturdays, and it turns out that traffic is also heavy on weekdays. Most of the laborers have already crossed to their jobs in Israel.
I only mention this checkpoint in order to publicly thank Shmuel, the checkpoint manager, who helped us return A. and his two daughters in our car. They had gone through the checkpoint earlier, on their way to RambamHospital, but had to turn back because the father didn’t feel well. It wasn’t the first time that Shmuel efficiently helped people needing assistance, and treated them well.