Barta'a-Reihan, Jalama, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
Jalama checkpoint, 05:15
It has been a long time since we visited this checkpoint. We encounter a sign, "Welcome to the Gilboa Passage". Maybe that's because it is on the Green Line, and not in the occupied Palestinian territory.
The checkpoint was opened at 05:00 (04:45 on Sundays). Many people have already gone through it and are waiting for transportation. Among them are women agricultural workers. We approach the entrance to the terminal, and a stream of workers come towards us. There are three checking posts in the terminal. One of the people tells us that there is a problem with the turnstiles at the entrance to the terminal. There are two turnstiles: one for men, the other for women. There are a few dozens of women going through, and a lot of men. He thinks that after the women go through the two turnstiles should be open for men. The man tells us that he has been working in Israel since 1968 (!), all those years doing agricultural work in Beit She'an vValley.
One of the people responsible for the checkpoint comes over, his name is Itzik. We bring up the turnstile issue, and he says that the suggestion is not applicable, since every once in a while additional women come, and they cannot squeeze in between the men. According to him between 05:00 and 06:30 2200 people go through the checkpoint, workers and merchants. Merchants start passing at 06:00.
He sends warm regards to our friend Rachele Hayut, who for three years had been his beloved teacher in highschool, "despite our disagreements".
06:15 The flow of people is slowed down. we leave the place. We see the lorries that wait at the checkpoint back to back. We can hardly get out of the parking place, which is full of vehicles and of people waiting.
06:50 Tura - Shaked checkpoint
We arrived a few minutes too early. The soldiers are already marching towards the checkpoint, They open on time. The cute children pass as usual, a do all the others.
The day before our friend Anna had left a phone and a camera at the waiting shed by the checkpoint. A man living at Dahr El Malec had found them and contacted her. At her request we called the honest finder and he invited us to his house. we were warmly welcomed by his mother, his two brothers and himself. One of the brothers had studied law at Aman university. He did not find work in his field, has worked as a cook, and now he works as a builder. The brothers and their father had been born in Dahr El Malec. They told us that the grandfather was an inhabitant of Ein Sahala (an Israeli Arab village) but had moved to Dahr El Malec (today an occupied Palestinian village in area C, under Israeli control) since there was better pasture there. They emphasized that the move was before the 1948 war.
08:00 Barta'a-Reohan checkpoint, Palestinian side
We pass by the checkpoint. The parking lot is completely full. Small groups of people arrive by car and on foot. More than twelve vans are waiting to be checked.
08:15 Yabed - Mevo Dotan checkpoint
The checkpoint is not manned. We leave.
On our way back we see again the long line of vans waiting in Reihan checkpoint.