Shaked – Tura, 15:00
The quiet of the checkpoint was broken by a herd of goats returning from the West Bank, led by a shepherd and his donkey. To our surprise a woman soldier stopped them and conducted a search of the donkey and saddle. There is a first time for everything, at least for us. There was no other activity at the checkpoint and we left.
Reihan – Barta'a, 15:30
We went through the sleeve and through the checkpoint in the direction of the West Bank, and receive a warm welcome. With us were the drivers and Hadi, the kiosk owner, and all the people who had problems.* Everyone converged upon us.
The checkpoint was filled with activity and people were coming and going as the gate opened and closed. There were workers, women and children, and a large group of people with suitcases and knapsacks returning to the West Bank. When we tried to go back in the opposite direction the gate was locked and workers who wanted to enter were not allowed to pass. We were forced to go back by way of the road and through the vehicle checkpoint. We were stopped there as well and Lotem, the second-in-command of the checkpoint, was summoned to speak with us and let us cross. Rules must not be broken. We learned that even if we were permitted to cross one way, we were stopped on the way back. We left at 16:40.
*The Problems (Ruti Reporting)
Confiscation of Permits
There was a problem on Monday morning after Anna and Huri, the driver, left. Huri told us that everything was as usual until 06:00. There were fistfights among the merchants from Barta'a, who came later. Two of A.'s cousins, whom we regularly drive to Rambam Hospital, live in the West Bank and they own a store for building material in Barta'a. The family depends upon them for income. A fight broke out and an ambulance was called after one of them was injured in the eye. A. confiscated their permits and yesterday, while we were on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint, one of the brothers became angry because he was struck or pushed out of the terminal by A. The store in Barta'a has been closed for a week. The Liaison and Coordination Administration claims that their permits to cross from the West Bank to Barta'a and back are at the checkpoint, but Lotem claims that the matter is being dealt with the Civil Authorities (the Liaison and Coordination Administration). The brothers claim that they were the ones who were beaten up and were punished. Lotem promised to take care of the matter despite the fact that in his opinion the permits will be cancelled anyway. We asked if this would be done without a trial, and Lotem explained that "This is the law."
S.Z. approached us because he was issued a police determent for a traffic violation, the fine for which he has already paid. We referred him to Chaya A.
We were asked to clarify the matter of a guarantor for a Palestinian from Nazla Sharkiya. I spoke with his attorney, an Israeli Arab, and learned that the man has been detained at Abu Kabir prison for a crime. The court is willing to free him if he pays his own bail of NIS 4,000 and a provides a guarantee of another NIS 4,000, to be signed by an Israeli Arab whose address will be used for issuing court orders. His family has already raised the money, but they did not find an Israeli guarantor whose address could be used.