Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

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Ruthi T., Hassida S. (reporting). Translator: Louise L.


Tura-Shaked - 6:50

The checkpoint is still empty.  Plastic bags "decorate" the place, also inside the fenced-in sleeveinfo-icon and as usual around the garbage container outside the checkpoint.

From where we are standing, we can see that 30 people are already waiting at the turnstile on the village side.


At 7 o'clock a group of soldiers appears (larger than usual?) on the road leading up from the camp to the checkpoint. They operate the generator and things start moving. Only at 7:15 does the first Palestinian cross the checkpoint, an old man leading his donkey. He has been ill and it is hard for him to get up on the donkey, but in the end he manages. After him another donkey hitched to a small wagon. An old man and his wife pass through to collect tobacco in their field. 


At a slow pace, laborers are crossing on their way to work. Cars driving in both directions are being checked.


A young man agrees to tell us about the feelings of the villagers in these stormy times. There are no Hamas supporters in the village. They are all Fatah.  Still, if there are any Hamas supporters, they aren't kindly looked upon. The villagers want quiet, they want to make a living, they want peace, but they don't trust their president.

We leave at 7:45. There are still people waiting at the turnstile on the village side.


Barta'a –Reihan – 7:50

We pass by the checkpoint. The lower parking lot is already full. Most merchants have already crossed.  We see ten pickup trucks loaded with merchandize and some other cars waiting to be checked. We turn and drive back to the upper parking lot on the side of the seam line zone. Many taxis are waiting there for the people coming out from the terminal on their way to work in Barta'a. We go down the fenced-in sleeve to the terminal. On the opposite side of the road, at the check posts, we see a pickup truck with an open door, but a security guard warns us saying that "it's forbidden to look there". As if we ourselves have not driven through in our car bringing sick Palestinians to hospitals in Israel.


We try to talk to the people coming out from the terminal. "Is everything o.k.  ….", but somehow it looks as if they are not in the mood. Maybe they are tired because of the Ramadan when they do not eat and drink during the day, and do not sleep enough at night.  At about eight o'clock in the evening, they break the fast (Iftar), and they have breakfast at four o'clock in the morning.