05.30 Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint
Outside the checkpoint many workers who come from the west-bank are waiting for their transport to East Barta’a and other places in the seam-line zone. A group of seamstresses passes through and they greet us with a smile.
05.55 A continuous stream of people comes out, goes up through the “sleeve” (the wire- netting passageway) from the terminal, and thread their belts back into their trousers while walking, as if it’s quite natural. They tell us that everything is normal and that there isn’t a big queue inside the checkpoint. The two last inspection-stations work fast and therefore their exit is speedy.
People ask us for the telephone numbers of Sylvia and Chaya in connection with their removal from the list of people whose access into Israel is denied, and we give the numbers to them.
A Palestinian approaches us and tells us that during the inspection in the checkpoint his wallet and car keys were stolen. The event happened next to the counter above which there are cameras, the theft was recorded, and the thief is known. Also his identity-card was stolen and he was told at the civil administration office that the Palestinian Authority must request the photographs from the security cameras. He applied to the latter but they are not doing anything so he is stuck “between the hammer and the anvil”.
In a conversation with Ron, the deputy-commander of the checkpoint, it became clear that the Palestinian who was robbed is known to Ron, who has confirmed his story and also said that he had the photographs, but he hasn’t got the authority to release them to the man who lodged the complaint, but only to Lior in the civil administration office (who had already spoken to him), and who might be prepared to hand them over to the Palestinian liaison office.
We didn’t succeed to contact Lior, but Leah took all the details of the man who compained so as to try to help him from her home.
06.45 There are fewer people on the road, but at least 12 lorries are waiting for the checkpoint to be opened for them. The drivers sit outside, smoking and waiting.
06.55 Tura- Shaked checkpoint
A military vehicle passes by on the security road. The checkpoint is closed and there isn’t a living soul in sight. On the opposite side of the checkpoint we can see a group of people who are waiting to cross-over.
07.05 Soldiers are beginning to arrive on foot from the nearby camp. Their commander who marches first doesn’t answer our good-morning greeting, in contrast to the male and female soldiers who come after him and answer with a smile. We see a male and a female soldier who are cleaning up around their position and later we see them throwing the rubbish into a “frog” (a large rubbish container) outside the checkpoint. A military vehicle leaves the checkpoint; they ask who we are, and they know what MachsomWatch is, and go on their way. The summer vacation of the schools has started, there are no teachers or children, who are usually the first ones to pass.
The usual passage of a few cars in both directions is starting, and people most of whom are going out to their work in the seam-line zone, while some of them are waiting for transportation. The flock goes out with its shepherd, a wagon with a donkey and another wagon with a horse, while travelers also pass by.
On the face of it, everything is quiet and calm.
07.25 Suddenly the checkpoint commander comes out of the checkpoint and says to us that the terrorists need us in Hebron so we should go there . . . .he just says that and departs.
07.30 The commander comes out of the checkpoint again and asks which of us has cursed his soldiers ? ! ? ! To my amazed answer, that neither of us cursed the soldiers, he claims that I am lying and that one of the female soldiers has complained about us. I ask to speak to the soldier who complained but of course he doesn’t answer. He threatens to call the police and I ask him to go ahead and do so. I get quite irritated by him and answer angrily. He again walks away and doesn’t return.
We stay for longer than we had planned.
07.40 We leave and return to the Barta’a checkpoint to collect three Palestinians and take them to the Rambam hospital in Haifa.