Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

Ruthi T., Hasida S. (Reporting)

Tura (Shaked) 06.55 – 07:55

When we arrived, soldiers came by foot to the checkpoint heavily armed with bullet-proof vests and weapons.  A jeep was parked within the checkpoint and two soldiers moved around inside. We asked the soldiers who was responsible for the area around the checkpoint which is very dirty.  They answered that they were new and didn’t know, but the sergeant introduced himself as the person responsible and claimed responsibility for the people in Daher El-Malech, the adjacent village. This angers us.  It isn’t the village’s garbage that is thrown around here and it isn’t the people of the village that set up the covered waiting area here.  In a short period the army employed two janitors, A man and his son, who cleaned the checkpoint and the area around it.  Did the budget end? The dirt rejoices.

We were not able to count how many people wait on the Tura side, because of all of the soldiers at the checkpoint.  The carousel was opened very slowly – the first three women came out, who waited for their ride.  The male and female teachers already arrived at the school in Umm-Reihan in order to prepare for the coming school year.  The checkpoint was managed slowly, but people and cars passed through.  Usually, the checkpoint empties by 07:30 but today the passage went on and on, and we continued on as well.

Barta’a (Reihan) 08:05

We passed by the checkpoint.  We saw only one taxi waiting for passengers and a thin stream (of people) came out from the terminal.  Most had apparently already passed through to work.  The lower parking lot is already full as is the private field above the hill, and also the shoulders on both sides of the road. There are many heavily loaded trucks waiting to enter and be checked.

Ya’bed (Dotan) 08:15

We passed by the Bedouin village of Amricha.  The yellow checkpoint that blocks the shortcut to Ya’bed and away from there, is obviously closed and we didn’t see an army vehicle beside it.  The tobacco in the fields is blooming.  Opposite us two women pass, with heavily ladened donkeys.  Tobacco or not tobacco?  Two small red signs painted are placed on Ya’bed’s side of the road.  On the way back, we stop and read them.

It is quiet at the checkpoint a thin stream of traffic flowed in two directions.  The street lights are lit up.  Electricity or a generator?  We called out to soldiers at the head of the tower but there is no answer.  It seems like we heard a radio or speaking from a communications instrument somewhere up there but we weren’t answered.  We traveled back and stopped beside one of the red signs that was put up that carried the following writing:  “Army (military) area.  It is forbidden to cross the fence (we didn’t see a fence, only thistles beside the road). A person who passes over will be punished.”  We didn’t cross over to any place, but the military jeep was stopped next to us as if to protect us from all possible problems.  A soldier asked us if we needed help.  We didn’t.

On the way back, we tried to enter the lower parking lot of the Bart’aa passage and saw that if we enter, we won’t be able to leave – we gave up.