Reihan, Shaked, Tue 16.9.08, Morning
Translation: Devorah K.
07:30 - We arrived at the CP under a thick cloud. A few cars are already at the gate waiting for workers. Three soldiers are talking to one another at the security post and for some time nothing moves. Our attempt to approach was of course immediately stopped. The growing plants made it impossible to see. But when the cloud cleared a bit we found an appropriate angle for observing the passage to the gate. We saw seven or eight people crowding near the turnstile. One person came out of the inspection room and after him the workers began to flow out at the usual tempo of a minute or two.
A Palestinian car with some school children, on the way to Tura, was inspected and allowed to pass. The children did not have to get out of the car. Schools are open as usual but because it is so early, we did not see pupils and students going through to the West Bank.
There is no queue and no pressure in the lower parking lot. The driver, A., our friend, told us that the gate opened at 05:00 and when he arrived, after an hour, everybody had already gone through. While we were there small groups and individuals arrived and went through immediately.
08:10 The first group of pickup trucks loaded with goods finished their inspection. Four private cars were standing in the inspection area, with all the doors open and the dog was going from one to the next and sniffing each of them. When we passed the cars after a few minutes, they were empty and open and there was nobody near them. We have seen scenes like this in the past and we wondered why the inspector goes away from time to time and what exactly he is inspecting in the room / hut near the open space. Tammy remembered that, a few months ago, when we asked what this means, we were told that "there is a reason" and that they couldn'ttell us what that reason was. There is a feeling that this is just meant to humiliate people and to draw out the time.
A new phenomenon: Three pairs of little school children passed the length of the parking space and walked along the road that leads to Zebda. We asked one of the drivers about this and we were told that they come from the small group of houses on one of the hills on the way to Barta'a, and instead of going to Zebda through the Wadi, they climb up to the open space of the CP and from there go on to the road. Tammy asked two girls where they study, and they waved a greeting to us from a distance on their way to school.
In the upper parking lot, a few workers are sitting at the side of the road and apparently waiting for their employer. On the other side, near the opening of the sleeve, there are drivers waiting to earn some money driving workers into Barta'a. Because of the Ramadan, the "robber" gave his place up for a few prayer rugs that are spread out in the shed.