Reihan, Sat 16.8.08, Morning
06:55 Reihan Checkpoint
Five vans wait in the upper parking lot. The yellow bar across the main road is closed. The entry position is not yet manned. A "good morning" booms out of the PA at 07:00.
This time it sounds: "Good morning, Berger," "Good morning, Antonio."
Five cars in line at the entrance.
A soldier mans the front post.
The barrier is moved very noisily , apparently in our honour because it closed again immediately after we passed. A little after 07:05 it opens again.
70-80 people crowd at the entry gate, the "bab." The women stand quietly to the side. A voice sounding like a Scouts councelor can be heard at the gate: "Guys, good morning," continuing in a tone oozing the niceness of a novice kindergarten teacher: "Pass in fives, okay?" The "guys" enter, but the teacher is not satisfied. She upbraids in an insulted voice: "Hold it! Who told you to enter? No [in Arabic]. Awra, Awra!" Then translated to Hebrew: "Everyone back, everyone back, I’m not continuing!" through the loudspeaker she broadcasts her offended anger to the "boys." "Close the gate!"
Finally the gate closed, and opens to let groups of five through. "Guys, why are you going in alone? I asked for fives, not sixes."
Anger: "All back!!!"
Pleasantly: "If someone can pick up the black bag, I’ll be grateful." No one does.
"Yalla, pick up the bag! It’s empty? Put it here! Here there are garbage bins. Good, thanks." The mission was successful...
The hour is a little after 07:20 and the entry plaza is empty.
07:25 – we turn to the terminal to await people coming out. The first four cars are being inspected. Two more are waiting. Up abovethe vans are filling up and driving off into the Seam Zone. There is brisk traffic in the sleeve, both ways. The terminal is functioning with one post open.
07:45 – all the morning people are out, and then – a security guard opens the second position. The cold water tank is still missing, though people are seeking it out of habit. A family in holiday finery arrives (perhaps on their way to a wedding? Many are getting married now, before Ramadan.)
08:00 – the bus from Bartaa arrives on its way to the West Bank. The passengers pass IDs through the slot by the entry position. Today the passengers can also rest in the shade of four Brazilian palms that were added to the checkpoint plaza during the week.