06.00 Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint
Many workers who have already passedthrough the checkpoint are waiting for their transportation, and many others arrive from the terminal, without their usual colorful picnic-boxes, because of the Ramadan fast. Cars come out of the inspection area.
The kiosk owned by the settler from Hermesh is open. At some distance from the window, in the direction of the “sleeve” (the enclosed corridor) there is a sheet of thick blue plastic, and behind it some youngsters are drinking coffee (which is forbidden during Ramadan). This morning there are no freshly baked pastries, apparently out of consideration of those who are fasting.
The cold-water fountain next to the turnstiles is dripping, a plastic bag covering the leakage.
We are told that there are no problems inside the terminal. We go down on foot to the Southern car-park, on the Palestinian side. About a quarter of the car-park is not being used, because the drivers are afraid to park in places where their exit might be blocked. The car-park is almost full and many people have parked at the side of the road leading to it. The truck parking lot is also full.
06:45 Tura-Shaked Checkpoint
We arrive at the checkpoint slightly ahead of the soldiers, who leave their base on foot at 06:45. In the meantime we chat with a charcoal worker who is returning from his night-shift in Daher el Malech. His employer allows him to work at night during the period of Ramadan, so that he can sleep during most of his fasting hours. For seven hours each day he fills sacks with charcoal and receives for this 100 shekels, without complaint.The soldiers agree with us as usual that it would be a good idea to empty the garbage container. They will speak to whoever is in charge.
There are fewer than ten people next to the turnstile. The checkpoint opens on time, and at 07:02 two women come out. A worker who comes out after them tells us that the soldiers stationed at this checkpoint now are really OK, especially the one who operates the computer in the inspection room : “He doesn’t fool around.”