יום ג' 16.10.07, בוקר

Tami S, Shula B (reporting)

06:00 - 07:35

06:00 Rihan Checkpoint

06:00 – the upper parking lot: by the number of people waiting it seems that the festival is not yet over and many have not yet returned to the routine of work.

06:15 – the west entry of the terminal:
  four seamstresses who have already exited the terminal are sitting on the bench and waiting for two more who came with them in the same taxi. They complain about delays of an hour inside the terminal! But in the same breath they say that the terminal opened at 05:30. After quarter of an hour, their colleague comes out with wet eyes. Today is the first time she was ordered to enter the notorious Room Number 2, remove her head scarf, dress and trousers "as if I had something to hide?" Ten minutes later the last one comes out and they rush up the sleeveinfo-icon to the upper parking lot and on to Bartaa.. N. remembers that four years ago the seamstresses remained to sleep in the sewing shop for two full weeks because they could not get permits to pass every day. From that viewpoint the situation has improved, but in bigger terms – everything is no good.
06:30 – in the lower parking lot: here it is also noticeable that many remained at home, and did not come out to work. Usually at this hour the lot is full of taxis and pick up trucks with agricultural produce. Today there is one pick up, and a slow drizzle of people crossing into the Bartaa enclave.
A Palestinian flag is tied to Walid’s bike . He sells us tea and, at 07:00, packs up his stand and goes home. That’s it, no one to sell to, he says.

A farm worker from Kafin says that, with the beginning of the olive picking season, they were promised that the checkpoint at Kafin (Gate 386) would be opened at 06:00 every day for half an hour. But the soldiers opened at 05:00 and closed at 05:30 though there was no one there and it was obvious that a mistake had been made. A phone call to Salem DCO (though DCO Tulkarm is responsible for Kafin) and there they explain that the people are wrong and that the opening hour is five. In the dark? The farmer argues that this is not what was agreed with them. The voice from Salem says that they should fix it with their council. The farm worker tries his luck – perhaps they will let him through at Bartaa. His lands are close to the checkpoint there.

07:20 Shaked (Tura) Checkpoint

All together, 15 students and secondary schoolchildren arrive on the enclave side, and a few women some with babies. Without any call from the soldiers, they pass one by one each time that someone comes out of the inspection hut. In a very gentlemanly fashion, the men let the girls and women pass first.
Shaked Checkpoint is operating relatively without serious hitches.
The youngsters ignore our presence. Only the adults nod as they pass.

The taxi driver who was beaten by a soldier a few weeks ago now arrives. In response to our "what’s new," he says it’s "okay" as he turns his face away and his body broadcasts "let me be already."
We got the message.