Barta’a Checkpoint – a crowded morning Barta’a Checkpoint – inside the turnstile
16.55 Barta’a Reichan Checkpoint
Hundreds of people are squeezed into the only turnstile lane,where people pass from the Jordan Valley to the Seam-line Zone or into Israel. There is another turnstile next to it, which operates in both directions according to need. The second turnstile is used for women and sometimes in either direction as needed. From time to time someone, usually an older person, tries to enter after a woman, but he is turned back with loud shouts: “Go back, go back, hurry up, get back!“
The checkpoint opens at 07:03 with the call, “get moving!”, and the people “move” in large groups of 50 to 75 (we counted). From time to time a queue forms at the terminal entrance, but inside the terminal the crossing is relatively quick, about a quarter of an hour.
It’s not clear to us what’s the logic behind the late opening of the checkpoint, precisely on Fridays and the eve of festivals, which are short working-days.
8:30 Tura-Shaked Checkpoint
Everyone who has to use this well-equipped checkpoint this morning has already passed through it. The soldiers’ voices can be heard but no one passes through, no cars, and we don’t linger but continue with two elderly hitchhikers whom we have picked up.