Reihan, Shaked, Wed 20.2.08, Morning
Ruti T, Noah L (reporting)
07:30 - 08:00 Shaked Checkpoint
Only light traffic flowing without delays in both directions, people, donkeys, goats, cars.
One man detained, waiting for outcome of a check into his case that soldiers are making. He is not being allowed to cross into the Seam Zone and is compelled to go back the way he came, but before he does, he comes to ask our help: he owns a carpentry shop in Yabed, and has an olive grove in the Seam Zone. He has a pass for Shaked Checkpoint but sometimes, when Shaked is closed, he returns via Reihan and then he is listed as "illegal" because he should have left and come back through Shaked on the same day. Therefore, they take his document from him and he is forced to ask for another at Salem. The soldiers provided the right forms for him to complete. We took his details and will see if we can help.
An older man approaches us: he also has an olive grove in the Seam Zone and a pass, but not for his oldest son who wants to help him. The reason for the younger man’s prohibition has not been given to them. They have already approached our women at the checkpoint, given them papers and requests, but without response. Disappointed, he is not willing even to give us his name so that we can check what has happened with his case (it is important to phone with information, even if negative, so that they know the matter is being dealt with and not forgotten).
08:10 - 09:30 Reihan Checkpoint
The checkpoint is very busy, heavy traffic in both directions. People coming out of the terminal to the Seam Zone say that the transit time is between one and two hours! Many people are still waiting inside, and outside the terminal. We descended to the Palestinian parking lot , where 40 people are waiting to enter the terminal in the direction of the Seam Zone. We have not seen a picture like this at such an hour on Saturdays in many months. The drivers confirm that the pressure is great today – many waiting and the process slow, no one knows why. We didn’t find the checkpoint commander, and meanwhile the line outside the terminal shortens quickly. Roughly at 09:00 we measure the transit time of a family as 20 minutes.
In the vehicle checks, the ritual of mirrors and dogs, a relatively fast inspection – about 20 minutes for a group of four vehicles.
A 60 year old from Yabed approaches us: he has an entry permit for the Seam Zone, but not a work permit, and therefore he is refused employment. The reason for the refusal is that he has no children. Meanwhile, he cannot make a living. Previously he worked all over the country. We take his details to deal with it.