Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan, Sat 21.9.13, Morning
07:30 – 08:00 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint
This is officially the first day of autumn. There are thousands of squill flowers in Wadi Ara and the area of Reihan, and there are clouds in 5the sky that will soon bring the first rain. The checkpoint is open and there is traffic of pedestrians and vehicles in both directions. The herd of goats passed through when we arrived. People are crossing quickly without delay. A man told us that his friend bought a new car, submitted the appropriate documents, but has still not received a permit for the car. In the past Hannah Berg helped in this matter and advised him to check the transfer of ownership, which is often a problem.
08:10 – 08:40 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint
The checkpoint is a little less crowded than usual and there is traffic in both directions moving quickly. We measured the crossing time for people to be about 7 minutes. People coming out of the terminal told us that today things were going well. We met Madi and Amjad in the parking lot where they were waiting for a ride. They had crossed through the Dotan checkpoint and reported that there was not yet a checkpoint there this morning. We will drive there and see.
Yaabed Dotan 09:00 – 09:20
The checkpoint is manned. Soldiers wearing yarmulkes tell each other that they just said the blessing over the wine and offer a glass. Traffic is moving smoothly and the soldiers open each lane alternately so cars can drive through. The soldiers are polite and ask us not to cross the concrete barriers. While we were observing someone shouts to us: "What are you looking at? We'll plant explosives for you."
We cannot compare what is going on here with the situation in the Jordan Valley or Hebron [which is far worse] but still, the routine of the checkpoints is deeply assimilated into people's lives as if there were no other reality.