Barta'a-Reihan, Jalama, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
13:50 – Jalameh – Gilboa Checkpoint
We took a Palestinian woman and her baby from Rambam Hospital in Haifa to the checkpoint and took the opportunity to observe what was happening there, since we seldom come here. We saw Palestinian agricultural workers returning home from work early, perhaps because of the Ramadan fast, or because of the heat.
The workers crossed to the terminal, which is closed at this hour. We walked to the entrance and a security guard immediately asked us what we were doing. He called another guard, who claimed that we were not allowed to stand there and even called the checkpoint director, Shimon Levy, who threatened to call the police if we did not move back to the large waiting area. He accompanied us there and then explained that no one was allowed to observe the checkpoint without permission from the Security Services, the army and the police. He gave us a phone number to obtain such permission, which we had never heard about before: 04-6582121.
According to Shimon Levi, each morning 2000-2200 people cross at the checkpoint. The vehicle crossing, where Arabs who reside in Israel cross to the West Bank, is open from 08:00 to 19:00 every day. During Ramadan the checkpoint is open until 22:00. The cargo crossing is open 08:00 to 16:00.
On our way from the checkpoint to the Afula Route junction we saw border patrolmen check Palestinians, but we did not stop.
15:00 – Shaked–Tura Checkpoint
There is little traffic, mostly families in private cars.
We drove past the auxiliary parking lot at Barta'a, which was full. The other parking lot along the road is full as well, as are the two sides of the blocked "bridge". We entered the Bedouin village of Emricha and gave a young man bundles of clothing. We saw from the car that another young man grabbed some of the bundles from him. The gate on the road that leads to a shortcut to the town of Yaabed is closed and locked – forcing everyone to use the main road only.
15:15 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint
A soldier approached us and asked politely who we were. The soldiers are stopping each vehicle coming from the direction of Jenin and are quickly checking ID cards. One of the passengers tells us that people cross quickly here because of us, and that yesterday it took a long time. Cars going towards Jenin are not being stopped. We also drove in the direction of Hermesh. The road leading to Tulkarem and Kafin is open, and there were no soldiers there, as has been the case in the past few years.
16:00– On our way back to the Barta'a checkpoint our trunk was checked and we were permitted to enter the seamline zone. There is a line of trucks waiting on the road for the morning crossing.
16:10 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side
Fewer workers than usual are returning to the West Bank at this hour. One family goes through. A few people are crossing to the seamline zone.
16:40– We drove back through Barta'a. The stores on the main street are open and filled with merchandise. People are preparing a restaurant for the evening [when the fast ends]. The crossing from East to West Barta'a and to Israel is awful, particularly for Vera, who is seeing it for the first time.