Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Leah Reichman, Ruthi Tuval (photos, reporting). Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham


05:45 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint

The parking lot on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint is almost full.   About 200 workers are standing in an orderly line along the fence.  We thought this was happening by itself, but it is Ayad, the former mayor of the regional council, who holds an M.A. in Social Work and is now a contractor. He has been taking charge of the line in front of the only turnstile every morning for over a week. At about 06:15 more workers arrive and the line becomes longer. Most of them do construction work in Harish. They told us that at most of the building sites the contractors adhere to safety precautions. About 60-80 people enter each time the turnstile opens. People greet Ayad and promise him that his positive actions will bring him to the Garden of Eden, and he answers that it is because of us. We give him bags of clothing and toys that we received from our friend Idit and he promised to take them to a kindergarten.


06:50 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

The gatesinfo-icon to the checkpoint on the seamline zone side are open and we are able to observe what is going on at the other side from the center of the checkpoint.  We hear people talking and there is a line of cars waiting at the gate. 


                                                                             The soldiers arriving at the checkpoint.


A discarded superfluous sign is lying at the entrance.


The soldiers arrived at 07:10 and the first car goes out at 07:17.  The driver is irritated and drives at full speed along the narrow road that is also used by the schoolchildren, who arrive on foot.  Two men who are returning from the 11-hour night shift in one of the factories in the Shaked Industrial Zone ask, is it fair to earn only NIS 200 [per day]?  Another person, who is a resident of A'araka, tells us about his difficulty in obtaining a crossing permit for his car and in working his land on the other side of the fence. 


By 07:45 no one else is waiting at the turnstile and the few cars cross quickly.