Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Sun 8.9.13, Morning

Ruth T., Hassida S. (reporting)

Translation: Shelly K.


Barta’ a Reihan Checkpoint


The lower parking lot on the Palestinian side is not yet full. Everyone who approaches the gate passes directly to the terminal and from there they can travel to the seamline zone using one of the taxis which wait t. We didn’t follow-up on exit time. The line of pickup trucks loaded with various merchandise was plenty long. We counted nine vehicles on the road and another three in the parking lot. All the truckloads were wrapped in blue nylon. When we returned, in about an hour, the number of waiting vehicles was still the same. We saw a sign in English, “Reihan Crossing Point." Not a checkpoint, but a crossing point. Whitewashed words. Whoever goes through the checkpoint westward enters what the army calls the seamline zone which is the area between the separation wall in the east and the green line in the west. The separation wall is a physical barrier, and the green line is virtual. Therefore, there is no real barrier that blocks entry into Israel proper.


Tura Checkpoint


The garbage container on the way to the checkpoint is overflowing; the smell is revolting and the flies are having a party. We pointed this out to the commander of the checkpoint, who promised to remedy it. The breakdown on the cellular phone clocks this morning messed up everyone. Even the soldiers. The pedestrian gate on our side was open, with apologies, only at  7:11. All those waiting (the usuals at this hour) waited patiently. Even on the other side there was no shouting or arguments.  An elderly Palestinian woman in a vehicle wanted to tell me something. The conversation was conducted in body language on my part and fluent Arabic on hers. The old woman (probably about my age) said that she was from Tura, on the other side of the checkpoint. Her daughter is married and lives in Daher el Malec, a distance of 200 meters on the other side of the Tura checkpoint. In order to visit her daughter she can’t drive for about 5 minutes via the Tura checkpoint, but must drive to the faraway Reihan checkpoint and from there to Daher el Malec. The same for the way back to her home. I made a helpless gesture in order to say I understood. The taxi driver who has a permit to pass through this checkpoint returned from the check and it appeared that he succeeded in persuading the soldiers to let her drive through. Sometimes logic works.