05:50 Barta’a Reichan Checkpoint
Many cars and workers are already in the car-park at the exit from the checkpoint. Many trucks loaded with well-packed produce are standing there.
There is a long queue of workers at the entrance to the terminal on the Palestinian side. One can feel tension among the workers, because if one of them is late for his employer’s transport he will lose a day’s work, and therefore many try to jump the queue. Even Iyad, the volunteer queue organizer, who is usually calm, looks stressed today. The queue advances quite quickly, but more people arrive and the queue doesn’t shorten. On the contrary - the turnstile suddenly stops turning, and the last man in the group, who can’t pass through it, is caught by surprise. We speak to one of the checkpoint staff, who tells us that they are aware of the problem, and it is also hard for them to work under this increased pressure. Iyad tells us that he was not there last Friday or Saturday but he heard that there was also disorder then.
07:00 Tura-Shaked checkpoint
We are told that although the checkpoint was opened at 06:30, the workers started to cross only a quarter of an hour later. An elderly man says, “there are good soldiers and also not-so-good”. He also tells us that there are soldiers who hold their firearms pointed at children, and this frightens them. I tell him that the soldiers are also frightened sometimes.
There are only a few people and little traffic.
07:20 We phone Iyad to check the situation in the queue at Barta’a. Everyone has passed through the checkpoint