We thought the A'anin checkpoint has opened at 06:00 and arrived at that hour to a deserted checkpoint. It turned out that after the olive harvest ended it opened at 06:30.
06:15 Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint
Many people and cars wait outside the checkpoint. We’re told the crossing goes relatively quickly today. We enter the fenced corridor leading to the terminal where the Palestinians are being inspected. Many people emerge, hurrying on their way. All confirm it takes only 20 minutes inside; there are three fast inspectors which improves the entire atmosphere.
06:40 The flow of people slackens a bit but reports are that many still wait to cross.
Construction laborers who work at Harish complained that on Friday the checkpoint opened only at 07:00, making them late for work which was supposed to begin at that hour. They say many laborers work at Harish in construction. They spoke to the checkpoint manager to request that it open earlier but were refused. Chana suggested they ask the contractor who employs them to write to the checkpoint manager. Any other ideas? Other laborers complain about long lines at the Ya’bed-Dothan checkpoint and long delays.
If the purpose of that checkpoint is to protect Mevo Dothan why isn’t it located on the road to the settlement?
06:57 Tura-Shaked checkpoint
Although soldiers are already at the checkpoint, the gates aren’t open yet. A lone soldier arrives from the direction of the base and disappears into the checkpoint.
07:15 The soldiers haven’t yet begun to let people through. There’s a DCL car inside the checkpoint. A jeep rushes up and rushes away and nothing happens. It turns out there’s no key to the gate between the checkpoint (which is located in the seam zone) and Palestine.
Many students arrive on their way to schools in Tura and to the university in Jenin. The principal who crosses daily arrives and so do female teachers who work in schools in the Palestinian Authority. Laborers also wait to cross. The checkpoint is designated “quality of life” and is intended to reduce the hardships caused by the fence that separates Palestinian villages and the schools their children attend, all of which form a single community. About 50 people wait for the key that will save them. The DCL tells us, “We’re aware of the problem.” A jeep arrives, departs…no key… We see many people waiting on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint, the Tura village side.
07:30 Some people decided to drive to the Barta’a checkpoint – a very long detour. The soldiers seem to be trying to force open the lock because we hear banging on metal. Meanwhile a side gate has been opened for the children. Adults aren’t allowed through and they’re now standing in line next to the inspection room.
07:40 No one has yet crossed in any direction. Great congestion on the Palestinian side, shouts and quarrels, the soldiers standing at the locked gate with weapons drawn.
07:50 The first school principal who has been inspected now sits in his car waiting for it to be checked. The first car crosses from the Palestinian side, a few children and teachers come through.
08:00 The principal’s car is finally inspected and he drives off, an hour late.
08:10 Loud shouts are heard again and the crossing stops. After a few minutes some more people come through. Someone says the soldiers hit a boy. And the crossing stops again. There are no pedestrians now on our side, only cars and drivers waiting for laborers and teachers who haven’t yet been inspected. We enter the empty fenced corridor to be better able to see what’s happening; a female MP arrives immediately, accompanied by a soldier with drawn weapon. She yells at us to leave hercheckpoint right away, we’re interfering with her job.
08:30 Inspection us very slow and people are still waiting, but the process is working more or less smoothly.
Did we say “quality of life”? This is how today has begun at the Tura-Shaked checkpoint…