ברטעה-ריחן, טורה-שקד

Observers: 
Ruthi T., Vera M. (Reporting) Translation: Bracha B.A.
Mar-11-2015
|
Afternoon

photos:

* School children returning home through the sleeveinfo-icon at the checkpoint
* A road block on the road from Kafin to Zibda
*  Workers waiting to be checked at the Barta'a Checkpoint

 

14:00-16:30

 

14:00 – Jalameh – Gilboa Checkpoint

We drove A. and his son from Rambam Hospital in Haifa to the checkpoint on their way home to Nablus.  We held a lengthy conversation about the situation in Syria, about ISIS, and about the stagnant situation between the Palestinians and us, about hopes and trust in a better future, and even about the upcoming elections.   Our conversation was interesting, but not optimistic.  When we parted A. invited us to his home, and we promised to come one day when we can.

The checkpoint was relatively quiet, but there was a long line of Israeli cars entering Israel.  The security guards approached us and asked us what we were doing at the checkpoint.    We learned that the cars belonged to Israeli Arabs who are allowed to enter the West Bank and return to Israel at this checkpoint.  

One of the people crossing complained that it is only possible to enter Israel until 12:00, which is too early.

15:00 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint

We arrived just as the shift was changing.  Three soldiers arrived at the checkpoint and a woman soldier attempted to talk to us but one of the others stopped her.  There was very little vehicle and pedestrian traffic and everything was carrying on as usual.  A tractor left the checkpoint and drove towards the fields.  A car driven by a woman (an unusual sight) and another car with a family with a ten-year-old child crossed to the seamline zone.   We asked what kind of checks were in process, and were told that everyone was checked but not delayed.

15:30 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint

We decided to see what the situation was on the side of the Palestinian parking lot. 

The parking lot was crowded with cars, taxis, minibuses, and it was impossible to find a parking space.   We drove on for some distance.  People said that at about 14:00 Yaabed checkpoint was filled with soldiers and army jeeps, but no one was being checked.   While we were looking for a parking place we arrived at the bridge near Zibda, and the gatesinfo-icon to it were locked at both ends.   There were a lot of cars parked beyond the gates and Palestinian men were crowded around them.  People were angry and asked us to see a roadblock that had been put up on the road under the bridge.  There was a roadblock made of stones and border police were stopping everyone and questioning them.  There were a lot of other police as well.  They repeatedly asked us who we were and if we were aware that we were in a dangerous place.  We were not asked to leave or stand back.   When we asked about the roadblock we were told briefly that there was a need to check people and that this was not unusual.  

16:00 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint

There were a lot of people returning from work as usual at this time of day.   All were in a hurry and most were men.  There was a long line and a crowd next to the turnstile.  Only one window was operating.  We succeeded in calling the security guard and reported the situation, and he promised to see what was going on.  Either by coincidence or deliberately, another two windows opened, and a total of three out of four windows were now operating.   Immediately the crowd grew smaller and people began to cross at a reasonable rate.  People's feet are still being hit by the lower rungs of the turnstile.