15:15 Tura Shaked Checkpoint
Things are quiet at the checkpoint. Two cars cross to the East, into the West Bank. We observe a young man who is walking from the West Bank into the seam zone, in a hurry. It’s very cold. The clear skies and the green landscape create the illusion of an idyllic scene.
The checkpoint’s surroundings are filthy again, with garbage bins overflowing.
Leah believes the checkpoint has been expanded and we ask, why? For what purpose?
15:40 Barta'a Riehan Checkpoint
Despite the early hour many men are returning from their work in Israel. The workers cross in a ceaseless flow, rushing, some running, towards their homes in the West Bank. They seem to be in a better mood than we. Coolers and bundles pass easily through the turnstiles. They are almost all young, greeting us and smiling. Most have permits to work in Israel; they are probably building Harish for the Jews. Since they don’t need to show a passage permit when returning to the West Bank, there are no lines at the automated checkpoints. Today, at least, three are operational.
All is in order, right?
We cross to the Palestinian side of the checkpoint and go up to the bridge. The parking lots are full, as are the shoulders of the road. We chat briefly with a young man who speaks fluent English. He’s an English teacher and supplements his income as a taxi driver. Others with him are also waiting to drive workers home. Nearly all are young.
The occupation. No end in sight.
16:45 We left.