Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Sun 17.3.13, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Two guests joined us today. After having taken a guided tour of the West Bank they asked to participate in our work. We were happy to introduce them to our “territory” instead of carrying out an activity that’s very important to us – transporting patients to hospital. Our shift lasted longer than usual; nothing out of the ordinary occurred.
07:00 Tura/Shaked checkpoint
Three driverless cars stood in front of the entrance. The drivers were being inspected and then went to bring the cars for inspection too. The first to cross came through at 07:05; the others followed, one after the other, every five minutes or so. The drivers were inspected more quickly; that might have slightly delayed the laborers’ exit.
The children from the seam zone arrived on their way to their schools in the Palestinian village of Tura, beyond the checkpoint. They came running from their transportation and went through the checkpoint, some on the road and others through the fenced corridor. They weren’t inspected.
We showed the area to our guests - the Palestinian villages, the settlements and the industrial zone. It was pouring, a real cloudburst, making it hard to identify the enterprises in the industrial zone.
08:00 Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint
We went through the checkpoint and drove east toward the Yabed-Dothan checkpoint. We were glad to meet A., the driver, an old acquaintance, farther along the road, opposite Zbeida. We explained to our guests why cars were parked on the other side of locked iron barriers blocking the highway to Tulkarm, Qafin and Jenin, tightening the army’s control of Palestinian traffic in the area. We drove up to the settlement of Mavo Dothan (many empty houses) overlooking the Dothan Valley to the west and parts of the West Bank to the east and north, showed them the guard towers (pillboxes) all along the road and returned to the Reihan checkpoint.
Seven loaded trucks waited for inspection. We explained to our guests the inspection procedure for merchandise coming from the West Bank to east Barta’a. We drove to the crowded lower parking lot and were welcomed happily, demonstratively, by Hadi, who has a stall there. We talked about the function and location of the terminal at this large checkpoint, then returned through both sides of Barta’a, the Palestinian and the Israeli.