Reihan, Shaked, Tue 1.4.08, Morning
Tami S., Hasida S. (reporting)
Translation: Devorah K.
Shaked (Tura) CP 07.20
Busy traffic in both directions. There are many schoolchildren: the little ones go through with no delays; the older ones open their schoolbags and go through. The little children look well cared for, are well dressed and their hair is carefully combed (little girls with pony tails, etc.). Some of the teachers and students only have to show their bags to go through and some enter the x-ray room and come out in two minutes. All the private cars and the taxis are inspected. We did not see rifles at the ready to threaten the people and the soldiers behaved courteously. Of course, they stuck to their instructions and insisted that we stand on the other side of the gate.
From the Tura side, a herd of sheep with a shepherd went through between the gates (the sheep are already shorn. Isn't this too early?) as well as people with work permits. All of them are registered and afterwards registered again when they return from work. Anybody who comes late and / or does not register is in danger of losing his permit.
On the side of the fence, we saw a field where tobacco is being planted and the planting will go on for two months. We should pay attention to the policy of giving agricultural permits during this season.
Old Barta'a (agricultural) CP 08.10
The CP opens with the precision of a Swiss watch. We left at 08.25 after three tractors went through, but the soldiers seemed to be waiting for some more tractors. The gate stays open until 08.30.
Reihan (Barta'a) CP 08.30
Many taxis are waiting for passengers in the upper parking lot. The lower parking lot is also bursting with cars. Buses are taking school children on their annual trip. We saw the girls from the Barta'a school going on a trip to Jenin and Tulkarm.
The passage of pedestrians is flowing in an orderly fashion.
We discovered a problem when we talked to the drivers of trucks transporting goods. At 9:30 the inspection of the first trucks was still going on. The gate and the inspection begin to operate only at 7:00, and the drivers claim that they have been waiting since last night. It turns out that there are more restrictions on the transportation of goods. It is not news that the number of trays of eggs per truck has been reduced from a hundred to fifty. Now there is a new restriction on the number of cases of soft drinks each truck is allowed to convey. And so we saw cases of Coca Cola and trays of eggs waiting in the shed and at the entrance to the parking lot. They are only allowed to bring a hundred cases a day into Barta'a. And all those that we saw were taken off the trucks yesterday and are waiting to be transported to Barta'a today. The number of cases of vegetables that can be transported has also been cut, and the drivers whose vehicles were loaded with more goods than are allowed (I did not understand what the numbers were exactly, and so I am not citing them) were forced to remove some and did not have the time to enter the compound again for inspection because at 15:30 inspection and passage are halted. Thus, it happened that many vehicles loaded with eggs and vegetables (what beautiful cauliflower!) remained in the parking lot for the night and the drivers went home to sleep. No one is allowed to stay in the parking lot when the passage is closed. The goods remain without supervision and on the next day nothing is fresh any more.