Reihan, Shaked, Sun 16.12.12, Afternoon
Translation: Charles K.
15:10 Shaked/Tura checkpoint
The checkpoint was deserted when we arrived but two tractors suddenly arrived from the seam zone. One was driven by a man coming to pick up his daughter, a student, from the other side of the checkpoint. She’s from Khirbet Radiya (the seven houses next to the road, a little before Dahar al Malak). He says there’s a housing shortage in the little locality. They aren’t being given building permits; attempts to build without permits ended with demolitions. Meanwhile, people begin arriving from the West Bank, a group of women with a boy about five years old who knows how to whistle. We whistled a duet. Three cars lined up at the gate. When we left at 15:45 with a hitchhiker we took to Umm Reihan, a student studying communications and working as a barber in the interim, the checkpoint was again deserted.
16:00 Reihan/Barta’a checkpoint
Groups of laborers who’d been working in Israel and in the seam zone arrive, hurry to the terminal and then to their homes on the West Bank. They appear in a very good mood today also (as in Yocheved and Chana’s last report). Many carry knapsacks and bags with fruit. Two booths are open, and people usually go through quickly. A guy with very large bags filled with clothing sits on the bench. He’s not allowed to take them into the West Bank. He says they don’t belong to him, but to a merchant from Barta’a, and he has to bring them through, but A., who’s in charge, won’t let him. The guy comes out and tells us he was told he could bring them through in a vehicle. We see him farther up the fenced corridor returning to the terminal while a discussion ensues between A. and the taxi driver who was hired to bring the clothing through. We try to intervene on behalf of the driver, but without success. A. says he knows the merchant (who isn’t there), that he has permits and has made arrangements to bring the merchandise through, but not here. The taxi driver returns in reverse; he doesn’t know what to do with the bags of clothing. We also left, embarrassed and frustrated.