Jalama

Place: 
Observers: 
Neta Golan, reporting. Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
Sep-30-2015
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Afternoon

 

15:05 – Jalameh Checkpoint

I brought a young mother and babyinfo-icon here from Rambam hospital in Haifa. They live in a village outside Jenin.  The mother got out of the car carrying a large bag and the baby in a car seat, and a young man who was on his way to the West Bank helped her.  I decided to stay and observe the checkpoint where many workers were returning home to the West Bank from their work in Israel.  Cars, taxis, minibuses, and even a few buses transport workers, some of whom are women - to the checkpoint.  Some carry sacks on their heads, containing watermelons (unfortunately I didn't manage to photograph them).  Two retired teachers, who had gone for a visit to Afula, stopped to talk with me.  

 

I went to the entrance to the terminal at the end of the sleeveinfo-icon.  As usual at this time of day, the gate to the terminal was closed.  People are using the other door and crossing quickly.  They all have permits to enter Israel and they don't need to pass through the inspection facility.

 

As usual a security guard comes up to me and tells me that I am not allowed to stand here because it is a security zone.  I argue with him and two additional guards arrive, one of whom talks about ridiculous security issues.   Meanwhile a young man comes up to them; he is waiting for his brother who has a permit to work in Israel.  They explain to him that people are only allowed to cross to work from 04:45 to 12:00.    At this hour people are only allowed to cross to visit family.  They suggest that his brother cross at Barta'a Checkpoint.  I go back to the parking lot and the shed next to it.   Again a security guard comes up to me and even asks me for my ID.   He also wants to know if I am alone and what I am writing.

 

A shiny white bus pulls up and tired workers get out.  They work in a packing house packing dates, somewhere near Beit She’an.  A smiling older woman comes up to me.  She speaks a bit of Hebrew and works in Ta'anachim, near Afula, picking parsley.  She has two small bags of parsley, cilantro, and dill, and two large bags of olives that she received from her employer.   Another person who is a resident of Arabeh asks how I am doing and explains that he buys calves in Israel and sells them in the West Bank "so that people will have meat."  A woman and two children arrive, who are going to the village of Daburia to visit family.  Someone will come to pick them up.

 

At the vehicle crossing, where Israeli Palestinians cross to the West Bank and back, most of the traffic is going towards Israel.  Cars are waiting in four lines to be checked.  The inspection is quick, and some of the cars are checked in an additional line that is slower. 

 

At 16:10 workers were still arriving, and I left.