Reihan, Shaked, Tue 22.1.08, Morning
Shula B, Leah R (reporting)
06:15 - 07:35
06:15 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
Dogs barking from the kennels. Freezing cold greets us.
People coming out of the sleeve on the Seam Zone side, some saying it’s okay and others complaining again and again about the prolonged checks in the rooms of the terminal.
They tell us about heavy fines (1000 shekels) for smoking in the terminal. A 50 year olds (who can’t read the signs warning against smoking) had to pay the fine in cash, immediately, or go to prison.
We hear uproar and Arabic shouting from inside the terminal, but few are exiting. Maybe they will let us observe inside?
From the Palestinian side few are entering.
Walid is hunched in his stand, wrapped in blankets, a coat, a hat and gloves, warming himself from a can of glowing embers, trying to sleep. He has been here since 04:00, arousing pity.
07:15 Shaked-Tura Checkpoint
Cold, wind, freezing rain, people passing mainly from the West Bank to the Seam Zone.
A man from Tura went out to work as a plasterer this morning, but because of the rain he returns home to Tura. Tura is only a few yards from the checkpoint, but he arrives at 04:00 to grab a place in line. There is a roof that stops some of the rain, but not the wind and cold. What harsh conditions these people live in...!
People complain that the checkpoint opens late, at 07:00 instead of an hour earlier.
Still school holidays and no children at the checkpoint.