Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan, Tue 15.10.13, Afternoon
It is the Muslim Holiday of Eid Al Adha.
14:50 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint
There is more traffic than we are accustomed to seeing here at this time in the afternoon. People are visiting friends and family for the holiday. A resident of Dar al Malekh, the village near the checkpoint on the seamline zone side, explains that he is going to visit his two married sisters. One lives in Yaabed and the other in Zaabed, both in the West Bank. The garbage container next to the checkpoint is overflowing – a pity that no one bothered to empty it before the holiday. A hummer stops next to it and two soldiers throw their paper cups into the full container.
We drove past Reihan – Barta'a checkpoint and see that the parking lot is nearly empty and that several families are making their way towards it.
15:30 – Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint
We park next to a sign belonging to Mekorot, the Israeli water company, that reads: Connection for Consumers of the Palestinian Authority" (See photo).
An army vehicle stops next to us and a soldier asks us worriedly if we need anything and if we work for the water company, which we do not. Cars are waiting on both sides of the checkpoint. Most pass through without being checked. Sometimes the soldiers stop a car and check people's ID cards. Occasionally a line of six or eight cars forms. One car is detained longer and then released. Drivers are angry at the delay on the holiday. One reports that he called the Liaison and Coordination Administration to complain and F. answered him apathetically. Most of the passengers were men and boys. We saw few women and girls.
16:20 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side
We park in the nearly empty parking lot. Here, too, most of the people passing are men and boys and we see few women or girls.
16:45 – We drive back through Barta'a. The main street in the East section of the village is very dirty, and apparently they never managed to clean it up before the holiday. Almost all the stores and restaurants in East Barta'a and on the Israeli side are closed. Only a toy store and a clothing store are open for those who didn't manage to buy holiday gifts yet. A large group of girls dressed in holiday clothes are walking around in East Barta'a celebrating the holiday.