Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
There were no exceptional incidents on this shift.
Tura (Shaked) 15:00
It is a bright, sunny summer day and the bright light is dazzling. The checkpoint is filled with traffic signals, a stop sign, a crosswalk, spikes (which are unfolded to keep cars from driving over them and are collapsed to permit them to drive across), and lamp posts with bright lights which are still on.
Only a few vehicles and pedestrians cross in both directions. It is summer vacation and there are no students or schoolchildren. The checkpoint appears to be superfluous and a waste of money. Yochi entered the checkpoint area and points out to the soldiers that the lights are still on, while efforts are still being made to bring electricity to the neighboring village of Dahar al Malakh without success. Sure enough, five minutes later, the lights were turned off. We have done something to save the army's money.
Yaabed – Dotan, 15:30
On our way from the village of Emricha we see that the yellow gates, that block the shortcut route to Yaabed, are locked. The army jeep is not parked there as usual. An army jeep passes us along the way. Two small red signs that read "Military Area" stand at the side of the road near the olive groves belonging to the village of Yaabed. Why are olive groves considered a military area? When we drove back westward there were white signs numbered 6-14.
At the checkpoint electric lights were turned on. There were no soldiers to be seen and Palestinian cars were driving freely in both directions. We entered the checkpoint and called in the direction of the watchtower to see if there was anyone there. One soldier peeked out the window. We asked him to turn off the lights and not waste money. He called another soldier and they both came up to us and explained that they did not know how to turn the lights off. We had a bad feeling that the army has no regard for the taxpayers' money and that the state must pay without batting an eyelash.
Reihan – Barta'a 16:00
Workers are returning to their homes in the West Bank and congregating around the turnstile at the entrance to the terminal. Two inspection booths are operating and perhaps the third one, which we cannot see, is operating as well. Most people are standing next to the machines. Those who crossed through other checkpoint in the morning pass through without being detained. One worker who asks to get through with a bicycle without going through the turnstile is sent to the vehicle crossing.