'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Claire Ashkenazi, Tzafrira Zamir, Neta Golan (reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

We passed two tank carriers at the Megiddo Junction on our way to the checkpoint.  We wondered where they were going.


15:00 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint

A few cars are crossing to and from the seamline zone and to the West Bank.  There are a few pedestrians, including an old acquaintance and his wife.  He told us that the Ramadan fast is not difficult if one fasts from the heart, and it is more difficult if one counts the hours until the next meal.

The soldiers at the checkpoint are new, and this is their first day here.  Two of them approached us to ask who we were.  They had not heard of Machsom Watch.  We told them a bit about our activities.    One of them, who were wearing a Yarmulke, asked if we thought the entire country belonged to us, and was surprised at our answer.  A polite discussion began, but was interrupted when one of his comrades and a policewoman called them to return to their places. 


15:30 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint

Our friend Tami sent a holiday gift to A., but he has not yet arrived at the checkpoint.  When we arrived at Emricha A. called and explained that he had borrowed a car from a friend.  He told us not to go to Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint because there were problems there and the soldiers would not let us stop and people were throwing stones on the road.  We continued on to Barta'a Checkpoint instead.   A. was waiting on the side of the road to ensure that we had come back.   We did not know what happened there.  Cars were standing on both sides of the blocked bridge.  Both the regular and the auxiliary parking lot on the Palestinian side were full.   A lot of cars were parked on the road where the tenders usually park on their way to the inspection facility.

16:00 – Workers are returning from work on the seamline zone side and walking down the fenced – in sleeveinfo-icon to the terminal.  One of them reports that everything is OK here and that we should come to Jalameh Checkpoint at 05:00 AM.   The owner of the kiosk is taking advantage of the Ramadan fast and enlarging his business, and is building a wooden patio facing the area of the checkpoint workers only.    

The playground equipment at the upper entrance to the checkpoint has been dismantled, and there is a bench there and a drinking fountain and shelter.  Two slides are standing abandoned.  Someone evidently understood that the playground was unnecessary.

16:40 – We drove back through the two towns of Barta'a.  The main street of East Barta'a is a colorful marketplace.  There are a lot of empty cartons scattered along the way.   Claire is not familiar with the crossing from East to West Barta'a through a small riverbed, and is surprised.