Barta'a-Reihan, Jalama, Tura-Shaked

Observers: 
Claire A., Netta Golan (reporting) Translator: Louise Levi
Jun-17-2014
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Afternoon

14:30  Jalama -  The terminal is closed. Few female and male agricultural laborers return from work at this early hour and pass through the turnstile next to the terminal. A friendly elderly woman tells us that she works in the Israeli village close to the checkpoint – Mukeble. A driver tells us that there are no problems at the checkpoint and that the laborers are crossing as usual. According to him 3000 people pass through the checkpoint in the morning.

15:30 Anin  - The checkpoint is closed. Of course, today is not Monday and not Thursday, the only two days when this checkpoint is open. Claire has just joined us so we drive to show her the village which is cut off from its fields by the separation barrier.

15:50 Tura-Shaked – Very few cars and pedestrians are crossing. A young boy is standing on a wagon hitched to a donkey. Such a lot of unnecessary facilities for such a small number of people who would manage just as well without them.

16:10  Barta'a -Reihan, on the side of the seamline zone – Many people move down the passage to the terminal. Laborers  who have authorizations to stay overnight in Israel exit without delay. Those working in the seamline zone move up to the check post installed on the exterior wall of the terminal. A very small number of people cross to the seamline zone.

We don't cross to the Palestinian side of the Barta'a checkpoint, neither do we drive to Ya'bed-Mevo Dotan or to Baqa to see how the separation barrier is turning into a wall. What we have seen, the checkpoint routine and the absurdity of the seamline zone is just about enough for a first-time observer.

16:50 We return through the eastern and the western parts of Barta'a. The main street in eastern Barta'a, a big and colorful market, offers more goods than ever. Wrappings are spread all over the place. It is the wedding season and Ramadan is approaching. On channel 2 Ramadan is called "the shopping holiday".