05.50 Barta’a-Rechan Checkpoint
Many people are waiting for their transportation. Dress-makers who travel every day complain that it’s taking a long time, there is a lot of confusion, and every morning they waste a lot of valuable time. We enter the long passageway called “the sleeve” and meet a stream of people coming out. Accordng to the reports the time it takes to traverse the checkpoint is between an hour and 15 minutes.
Some of the people greet us with a “Shalom”, thread their belts back onto their trousers and run to their transportation. The daily routine.
06.20 We go out to see what’s happening at the entrance to the Palestinian side of the checkpoint because of reports that there is a long queue there. The parking-lot on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint is still closed for renovation. While we were there, no work was being done, and also there was no big change, although, according to the people we met, the parking-lot has been closed for over a week, causing gret difficulty for the workers.
Outside, eight loaded trucks are waiting to be inspected for entry into the seam-line zone (particularly to Barta’a). According to the waiting drivers the inspection starts at 06.30. There are seven more trucks which are being checked. The drivers tell us that the modifications to the parking-lot will provide space for trucks, which would be a big help.
One of the drivers asks for help in canceling a GSS (general security service) exclusion order, and we direct him to Sylvia.
A conversation develops about the situation and the war in Gaza, and there is agreement that peace and employment are more important than anything-else. . . . they hope that the Gaza inhabitants will receive aid to rebuild the area.
06.55 Tura-Shaked Checkpoint
There are no soldiers and still no people waiting on the seam-line zone side. The checkpoint is open. It’s possible to enter it and to stroll around there as far as the gate behind which the Palestinians are waiting.
07.05 Leah calls the civil administration office and complains that the gate still hasn’t been opened. She is told that they would send someone immediately and indeed a military vehicle arrives very quickly and at high-speed from the nearby base, bringing soldiers. It turns around and returns with military-police women.
07. 17 Meanwhile, a fellow, who has arrives in a car, enters the passageway for pedestrians, is examined, and then returns to his car and drives it across also.
07.20 The first Palestinian woman crosses on her way to her work in the Shaked industrial zone, situated within the Seam-line zone. She has to wait for a driver to take her there but he is still stuck in the queue. Loud shouts and complaints are heard from the queue, and the (female) soldier shouts and curses them.
07.30 The first car still hasn’t passed, and the (female) soldier just stares at me when I try to draw her attention to the waiting driver.
07.35 The first driver passes through. There is a lot of anger and resentment about the slowness and contempt towards the Palestinians. One of them tells me that on many days lately the soldiers arrived only at 07.30.
In a conversation with inhabitants of the small village of Daher El Malek near the checkpoint it appears that they are not connected to the electricity grid even though electric power-lines pass overhead. They have an electric generator which operates for three hours a day, but apart from this they live as if they are in the middle-ages, with no electricity. They said that the mukhtar (head) of the village has appealed to the authorities many times but they were refused. There is also a lawyer involved in the matter. Their lands are registered in their names but of course they are not allowed to construct any buildings there.
07.45 We leave while there are still many angry people waiting to pass.