Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint
We have been going on shifts for Machsom Watch on Saturdays for many years. This week we went to observe the checkpoint during the week days of the Passover Holiday.
The first difference we observed was the traffic jam on Route 6 as opposed to the empty roads that we usually see on Saturdays.
At this hour many workers are waiting for their rides to work, and others are leaving the terminal carrying portable coolers with food. Evidently we have arrived after rush hour. How is crossing today? Some people claim that the staff at the checkpoint is rude and that it took them 40 minutes to get through, while others claim that everything is all right and that it took them less time to cross. There was no one waiting on the West Bank side of the checkpoint, so we couldn’t measure how long it took anyone to cross. There was practically no one crossing from the seamline zone to the West Bank. On Saturdays we usually meet businessmen and workers going to the market in Barta'a, who will perhaps arrive later) and families going to the West Bank from the seamline zone. There are four windows operating and by 07:00 when there are fewer people crossing one of the windows closes. Mari and Amjad are waiting at the exit from the terminal for a ride to Um Al Fahem.
07:10 – 07:56 Shaked – Tura Checkpoint
Here, too, everything is different. There is a line of people waiting in front of the turnstile on the West Bank side of the checkpoint. Most are workers on their way to work. Everyone crosses relatively quickly. The children - whom we never see on Saturdays - arrive on the seamline zone side on their way to school. All are beautifully dressed, the older ones leading the smaller ones. Watching them cross is heartbreaking and instills respect and pride for them, as they cross through without being accompanied by any adults. All of them cross quickly.