Reihan, Shaked, Sun 17.8.08, Morning
06:00 Reihan Bartaa Checkpoint
At first sight everything seems allright. Tenders and their loads are already being checked in the compound, private cars examined at the vehicle checkpoint, and people coming to the checkpoint, mostly on foot from the bridge and a few in taxis, immediately entering the terminal. By a second look, we see that it is not at all alright. The people are entering by the gate from the Palestinian parking lot into the sleeve, but are stuck there.
06:20 – scores of people still waiting in the sleeve. A telephone call to S., the Ministry of Defence supervisor, elicits the answer that there are no special problems, the screening machine is functioning and whoever is rushing to work should come at 05:00 – the hour that the checkpoint opens.
06:30 – in the upper parking lot on the Seam Zone side, people are very angry. They are still waiting for workmates who are stuck in the terminal or the sleeve. We went down to the terminal entrance. Only one window open for checking IDs, but the pressure isn’t there. From inside the terminal, out of our sight, hubbub and arguments can be heard. People coming out tell us that the crowd has lost patience, and passage is taking an hour "like it used to..."
07:05 – not all the Shahak workers are through yet – though they were supposed to begijn work at 06:45.
07:00 – our friend, B., who works in the carpet plant, describes the difficulties in transferring a drill, including inspection in the inside rooms. Says that there are workers who have given up and returned home, because they were late for their transport.
The moment we got out of the car, a soldier shouted that we were not to approach.
Passage of cars and pedestrians is proceeding at a reasonable pace. Pedestrians, in both directions, are going through the inspection hut.
07:45 – a woman doubled over and walking with difficulty gets out of a car to await inspection. After a minute, she gives up and gets back in the car. The soldiers let her through to the West Bank in the car.
Few waiting to cross into the Seam Zone at this hour.
08:00 Reihan-Bartaa Checkpoint
Almost no people at this hour.
We left early, and on our way to Jalame Checkpoint, to pick up a sick boy and his father on their way to Rambam Hospital (Haifa), we passed East Bartaa. The work on the entry road to the village has progressed but is not finished. The main street is quiet and sleepy. At 08:20 most of the shops are closed.