07.20 – 07.40 Tura-Shaked
The checkpoint is open to easy passage; no-one is waiting in front of the turnstiles, and people pass from side to side with no delays. There are relatively few people passing through, perhaps because of Ramadan. As usually happens, people are polite and smiling, and they greet us. The garbage container is full as usual.
07.50 – 08.15 Barta’a-Reihan
Also here the traffic is relatively small. People explain to us that it is because of the early hour and perhaps also because of the festival. Also here, no-one is eating, drinking or smoking. “The “coffee-corner” in the “sleeve” corridor is closed and covered with a cloth. Barking dogs can be heard from the area where cars are searched. A glimpse into the terminal reveals that there is no queue there, and people are passing quite fast.
It is still early so we decide to go to the Ya’bed-Dotan checkpoint. There a number of soldiers but the cars coming from the Jordan Valley are not being held-up. Quite quickly two soldiers arrive, polite and smiling with a bag of Choco-drink for us. They offer us to come and eat with them, and cheerfully offer to provide any help we need. The days of the Messiah have arrived ! In the meantime a number of cars arrive from the Jordan Valley (also here the traffic is very thin) and are stopped for inspection at the checkpoint, but the delay is short.
The tobacco fields are flowering, the harvest has already started and there is row-upon-row of tobacco leaves hung to dry in the sun