We brought Jalma and her baby girl, who receives dialysis treatments, and her cousin, about 12 years old (who also looked ill), from Rambam hospital.
15.10 Jalama-Gilboa Checkpoint
Many women were now returning from work. Drivers who were waiting in their cars told us that the women get up at four in the morning, work for eight hours in the fields, and are now hurrying home to their housework. It’s not surprising that they were not smiling and friendly, like the dressmakers who return from their work through the Barta’a checkpoint.
Several security guards approached and agreed to chat with us. They told us that the convoy of cars which was arriving from the town of Jenin was searched and passed through the checkpoint in ten minutes, using new state-of-the-art search instruments. The drivers waited next to a booth with a red tiled-roof, while their cars were being examined. The identification was biometric.
Of course, only Israeli Arabs are allowed to pass from here to the West Bank and back. “And how are they being identified?” we asked. ”That’s our job,” someone answered in a mysterious tone of voice.
On the way back we were delayed for a long time by a traffic jam caused by an accident, and therefore deferred our observation at the Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint.
17.00 Tura-Shaked checkpoint
Five cars arrived at the checkpoint, and women and children crossed. A young manpower contractor from Um-Reihan brought back builders who were working in the settlements. His well-groomed children were travelling with him. According to him, he was forced to wait a long time for workers this morning because the checkpoint was opened only at 07.20. One of the drivers complained about the unnecessary inspections at the booth. An old acquaintance from the large Kab’ha clan told us that his married son, who has a child and lives in Barta’a, has been arrested at the checkpoint about three weeks ago for the offence of stone-throwing. His father claimed that for many long months he hadn’t left Barta’a at all. The judge released him on a bail of 2,000 shekels. However, although the father paid the bail angrily, his son was not released. “The army and Netanyahu are destroying the whole world,” he said.