Reihan, Shaked, Sun 27.7.08, Morning

Observers: 
Anna N.S. , Neta J. (reporting)
27/07/2008
|
Morning
Translation: Devorah K.

05:00 Reihan-Barta'a CP
The CP opened a few minutes before five. The first of those inspected are leaving the terminal in the direction of the seamline zone. Their rides are already waiting in the upper parking lot. A slide and a swing have been installed near the geranium flower bed at the side of the parking lot. It is quite strange. We have not seen children waiting there and it does not seem reasonable that the workers of the Shahak industrial zone will be using this equipment designed for little children.
Those arriving  in the lower parking lot, the Palestinian one, enter the terminal immediately. Three cars requesting to go through to the seamline zone are being inspected. Eight loaded pickup trucks are waiting for inspection which will begin at 06:00. Everything looks 'fine' and we decide to drive to the Baka CP for once.

05:50 Baka CP
The CP is still closed. Soldiers arrive in a Hummer to inspect the area. They wake up the soldiers of the CP, who are sleeping inside the inspection pavilion. There are no people waiting. The CP is open from 06:00 to 24:00; those with permits from Nazlat Issa and from Baka are allowed to go through this CP, according to the list that the soldiers have on hand. In special cases, such as a wedding or a funeral, people can get one-time permits. A soldier told us that the day before yesterday a woman from the West Bank came to her sister's funeral in Baka el Garbiyeh and received a permit in ten minutes.
06:15 One man arrives from the West Bank and goes through via the inspection pavilion. Together with him another hummer arrives with soldiers checking up. It is quite surrealistic. Until 06:30 no additional people arrived.

06:55 Shaked-Tura CP
07:00 The soldiers open the gatesinfo-icon. This morning the traffic of pedestrians and of cars in both directions is livelier than usual in this CP. Those going through are required to enter the inspection pavilion. Only students going through to the West Bank are exempt. A soldier peeks out from the inspection pavilion and asks in a loud voice if the children of farmers are allowed to go through. The answer is yes, with their parents. Two adolescent boys who arrived without parents were not allowed through. The tempo of the passage is reasonable.
07:30 It is drizzling. At that very minute, a Hummer brought a watermelon for the soldiers. They take pieces of it and eat it - a picture that underlines the strangeness of rain at the end of July.

08:00 Reihan-Barta'a CP
Just now it is very crowded. Dozens of people are crowded in the sleeveinfo-icon at the entrance to the terminal and about 20 people are waiting in the Palestinian parking lot, in front of the locked gate. There is a light summer rain.
08:20  They are beginning to let the people enter in fives, but they 'get stuck' in the sleeve and do not enter the terminal building itself. A telephone call provides the answer - the machines are out of order.
08:35 The pressure has eased a bit, but to our surprise three buses arrive in the Palestinian parking lot. Mostly women and children get off the buses and only a few men. It turns out that these are families of prisoners on their way to a visit in the K'tsiyot Prison. Eight buses arrived in the Jalameh CP, but because the inspection machines are out of order there, three of the buses were sent here. The prisoners' families, mostly wives and children, are waiting in front of the entrance gate and begin to enter in groups of five. In the meantime, some people who work in Barta'a arrive and they are alarmed when they see the long queue.
08:55 From a phone call to the DCO we learn that they are aware of the problem. The workers are allowed to enter before the prisoners' families.
09:05 We go over to the sleeve that leads to the terminal of the seamline zone. Only one inspection post for examining documents is operating. A few people, those who want to go through to the West Bank, are forced to wait at the side. Perhaps thanks to a phone call to Sharon, the person put in charge by the Passage Administration of the Ministry of Security, an additional post is manned. Sharon says that he knew about the problem at Jalameh at 06:00 a.m. and responded to the DCO's request for help.
The representative from the Red Cross who is accompanying the prisoners' families tells us that the passengers on the buses that remained in Jalameh will be visiting the Shata Prison and the one in Ashkelon. A permit for visiting a prisoner is given to a member of the family. Recently, they have been given permits for six months. In the military prisons it is possible to visit prisoners once a month and in the prisons of the Prison Service, twice a month. The visit lasts for 45 minutes. Visitors are only allowed to bring the prisoner cigarettes and money; once in three months they can bring clothes. The trip is funded by the Red Cross. In the three buses that came to Reihan, there were 133 people on their way to visit 50 prisoners in K'tsiyot.
09:45 We left the CP. We did not see children playing on the slide or on the swing. A few of the prisoners' children, who've gone through, were waiting near the Israeli buses in the upper parking lot.