Reihan, Shaked, Tue 24.3.09, Morning

Twitter FB Whatsapp Email
Neta and Tamar (reporting)

Translation: Bracha B.A.

The entire area on the way to the checkpoints is full of police and border patrol vehicles on the sides of the roads and at the entrance to Um El Fahem because of the right-wing demonstration due to take place today

.Reihan Checkpoint
06:24:  Workers are getting into cars to go to work as usual in the Israeli parking lot.  We asked one of them how the passage through the checkpoint had been and he told us that it was all right, but asked us to give the checkpoint commander a piece of paper with a list of seamstresses who work in Barta’a.  There is a problem with the biometric I.D. apparatus at Reihan.  There are seamstresses that the machine does not identify and they are not permitted to go through.  We take the list and give it to the checkpoint staff.  A worker who walked through the sleeveinfo-icon with us tells us that he also had problems with the palm scanner and he was not allowed to go through several times, but in the end it sorted itself out.  Neta jokes that perhaps he changed his broken hand, and all of us laugh that typical laugh when there is nothing else to say in ridiculous situations.A man whom we know tells us that he saw the scanning machine operate and that it shows a person’s entire body and that it is humiliating.  I am reminded of a post written by Attorney Yael Barda that I read about this entitled “The Erotic Nature of the Occupation – Searching and Undressing”

.06:47 – The lower parking lot is empty.  The seamstresses and workers going to the Shahak industrial zone have already gone through and the rest of the Barta’a workers have not arrived yet.  Ten tenders with goods are waiting for the cargo inspection checkpoint to open at 7:00.  Some little girls are walking along the road from Z’bada which is some distance away to the Z’bada school opposite the checkpoint.  They are smiling and happy despite the cold weather.

– A man from A’anin whose sister married and moved to Barta’a wants to visit her and he has been given a permit for only one day, and no one else, including his brother, has been given any permit at all.  We wrote down his name and details. 

– Almost all the tenders have gone in to be checked.  One is left.  A driver tells us about his son who has been detained for 6 years.  When he was 15 he was sentenced to 10 years and yesterday his father went to visit him.  He is permitted to visit him once or twice a year, which is horrible.

Shaked Tura Checkpoint
When we arrived we met a man from Tel Aviv who had come to pick up a Palestinian girl who needs leukemia treatment in Hadassah hospital.  She is not being allowed through and they want her to go to Reihan. The man says, “She’ll get to Jerusalem, no matter what!”  It is moving to hear him say so.  The sick girl is standing on the other side with a mask on her face waiting in the cold for the results of Yuval’s phone call.  We are under the impression that today the soldiers are new and are not functioning very efficiently.  Students are being held up in the entrance to the inspection booth.  One car is waiting to get through on the side of the seamline zone and three on the West Bank side.

7:32 –
Three cars on the seamline zone side, the first is the one that was waiting before.

– A man driving through from the West Bank calls us and stops at the side of the road and gets out to let off steam – he has been waiting since 6:50 to get through and it’s not fair to hold him up every time he takes his children to school.  A representative of the Liaison & Coordination Administration has been sitting in a big white car all this time observing what is going on but not helping.  He continues complaining that the teachers who pass through each day have to put up with lengthy checks and suspicion every day.  I don’t know what to say, since the entire situation is false. At the exit from Tura we confront a police car blocking the road because of the demonstration at Um El Fahem – apparently to prevent the right-wing demonstration from exceeding the number of demonstrators that were permitted.

We arrived to pick up a woman to be treated at Rambam Hospital.  Two busses are waiting to pick up prisoners’ families, despite the fact that it was publicized that these visits would be stopped as a means of putting pressure on Hamas to free Gilad Shalit.