Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan,Sun 16.6.13, Morning
The checkpoint is crowded this Saturday as well, even more than usual. We arrived a little late; all the teachers from Jenin who’d come to administer baccalaureate exams in Barta’a (today in math) had already gone through. We understood that the procedure today went more quickly and respectfully than it did last week. We see the principals arriving, carrying the exam envelopes. All wait to be driven to the school in Barta’a. Traffic is fairly heavy in both directions; the crossing goes relatively quickly.
We see that the padded revolving gate at the entrance to the terminal has been moved to another location; it’s now closed with a “no entry” sign. We think that may be a good sign – perhaps, as at Jalameh, people returning home to the West Bank will be able to go through without inspection. One man says that’s what he believes will happen. Meanwhile traffic is, as usual, heavy in both directions. How’s the crossing? “So-so.” Some went through in ten minutes; others say it took them half an hour or longer.
08:45 We then drove to the Yabed-Dothan checkpoint. Mari, Amjad’s daughter, was hospitalized at Rambam to be operated on immediately after she had felt ill (she’d recently undergone a difficult, complicated operation). Thanks to the uncompromising efforts of Yuval Roth, from “Yad LeHakhlama,” and of our colleague Ruti (Amjad’s on the Shabak blacklist), Mari had reached Rambam, was examined and was immediately operated on. Amjad came and stayed with her; he’d brought no personal belongings and now we’re driving to the Yabed checkpoint to pick up things sent by his family and bring them to him. While waiting for the parcel to arrive we see fairly long lines on both sides of the checkpoint. Today every car is being inspected for a long time.
09:30 Back to the Barta’a checkpoint. The security guard asks us where we’ve been, were we given anything to take through, and bingo! – we’re very respectfully (really) sent to be inspected in the green vehicle inspection shed – but quickly, without having to wait in line. After all - we’re Jews. That’s how we were able to see this checkpoint from inside. Today the accessories include dogs and flashlights, but for us they make do with carefully inspecting Amjad’s bag.
10:00 On the way home we go to the house that was demolished yesterday at the junction of the Wadi Ara – Qatzir road, right next to the main road. It had three stories, was 50 years old, housed three generations of a family, on land which was registered in their name in the Tabu. They paid municipal taxes to the Menashe Regional Council but, of course, received no services in return. A demolition order was issued for the house years ago; the matter was discussed in the Lands Authority, the regional council, the courts, etc. After all, no building permits are being issued, so where will they build? Where will they live? On their land? Now there’s an excuse – they’re being moved because of a rail line (!) that will be laid there, probably when the Messiah arrives. So, at 1 AM, with no advance notice, a bus arrived carrying high school students on vacation (employed by a manpower agency) along with police cars and three bulldozers. The inhabitants were given ten minutes to get out. Of course, they weren’t able to remove any of their belongings. Those carrying out the evacuation threw some furniture out of the windows, as if they were “removing” it. The family wasn’t even allowed to remove the children’s schoolbags. Now there’s a huge pile of rubble covering all the family’s possessions. A curtain flaps amid the ruins.
Members of the family erected a sign atop the pile of rubble: “Made in Israel.” It’s all our handiwork, of course, in our country. Where will the shame and disgrace end? We had tears in our eyes. But, nevertheless, we found a source of strength and nobility: all the members of the family, who are now living in tents on their land, vow not to abandon it even in the case of a khamsin or a cold wave. They’re supporting each other, preserving their sanity.