Note: On our way to the checkpoint we observe a large area which has been prepared for construction in the settlements of Chinanit and Tel Menashe. Who said there was no low-cost building going on?
06.10 Barta’a- Reihan Checkpoint
The upper car-park is almost empty of workmen. Most of them had
already left for work. There are many vans waiting for passengers, who continue to exit the checkpoint, many of them very young.
06.25 Inside the terminal, only one window is operating and there is a lot
of congestion next to it. The outgoing people are in a hurry but some of them pause to complain to us about the hold-up next to the biometric scanner. At 06.35 another window is opened.
A workman who has a permit to work in Israel with a contractor at Lehavot Chaviva is waiting for his employer. According to him, he goes to work every day via the Rechan checkpoint but today he wasn’t allowed to pass, and he was sent to Irtah (Taibeh).
06.50 It is still crowded and noisy; again, only one window is operating.
07.03 Tura-Shaked Checkpoint
The gate is opened, and all those waiting – about 50 – enter and crowd about the turnstile. The first one is released to the open space at 07.08, and people exit quickly. The first vehicle coming from the occupied territories enters at 07.10 and leaves within two minutes. All the vehicles pass through, one after the other, without any problems. School-children are on vacation, and some of them pass through to the seam-line area and don’t go into the inspection room. A female soldier on the path “interviews” them. By 07.25 most of the people have passed through.
We return to the Reihan checkpoint to pick-up two patients and take them to hospital. Only one has waited for us. The other one, who due for tests before an operation, had a permit for the Jalama checkpoint, but was not allowed to pass at Reichan, even though it was specifically written on the humanitarian permit and in his paperwork that he was travelling to hospital. The first one was lucky to pass with the permit he had through two checkpoints. Today, he was on his way to an examination following his operation, but when he got to the vicinity of Hadera he was informed that the examination had been postponed until next month. He continued with us, because in a case like this it is necessary to bring new documents from the hospital for the civil administration to extend the humanitarian permit, and ni addition he has no way to return to the checkpoint.
He also tells us that his operation was on Sunday and he was supposed to be at the Rambam hospital on Saturday. Despite the humanitarian permit he was not allowed to pass through the Jalama checkpoint because of the Sabbath, and was forced to go to Reihan, where apparently it was permitted to desecrate the Sabbath.