Shaked – Tura Checkpoint, 15:00
The checkpoint is quiet and empty and hot. A soldier, armed to the teeth and wearing paratrooper's boots, approached us and asked whether we needed help and what we were doing there. Our answer satisfied him and he left.
The checkpoint is well equipped, with a stoplight which faces the settlement of Shaked. It does not appear that drivers approaching the checkpoint can see what color the light is.
Faded white strips run from one side of the gate to the other. A street light is on while the sun shines brightly overhead.
A few cars cross and people who emerge from the inspection booth walk up to cars that have already been checked and continue on their way. Again we ask about what appears to us to be a waste of the security budget. The soldiers seem polite and everything is in order – but in reality everything is far from being “in order.”
A Palestinian grandfather with several merry grandchildren is waiting for his wife who is returning from a visit to her daughter in Zibda. We had toys with us and the children were very happy to receive them. We accepted their invitation to go to their house in Dahar al Malakh for tea. We were greeted by a large family. The daughters-in-law brought tea and cookies and everyone greeted us with handshakes and kisses on the cheek. The tea was sweet and fragrant. The conversation was about the television broadcast about the village on Channel 1 and the need to connect the village to electricity. The residents have received a promise from a person from the Liaison and Coordination Administration that the village would be connected. We asked about building permits and were told that the village has existed since around 1930, and no current home owners received a building permit. The man has built two-storey houses for four of his sons. They all live happily in the same courtyard with many grandchildren of various ages. We invited ourselves to the celebration that will take place when the village receives electricity.
We decided not to drive to Yaabed – Dotan checkpoint, because recently it has been unmanned. Occasionally there is someone in the watchtower. An acquaintance informed us that the checkpoint has been empty and traffic has been moving through freely, without delays.
Barta'a (Reihan) 15:50
At this hour many workers are returning to their homes in the West Bank after work. As we descended the sleeve we saw from a distance that a crowd was forming in back of the turnstile and there was a line in front of the two computer stations, which were not operating. Nevertheless, the turnstile continued to admit more people. There was a lane between the two lines and young men, who work in Israel and do not speak Hebrew, were walking through. They are building the settlement of Harish. We attempted to ask two workers if they knew whether the computers were operational. They did not answer and disappeared inside.