Barta'a Checkpoint opened at 07:00 this morning instead of 05:00 because of the Purim holiday in Israel and the closure.
06:45 – Barta'a – Reihan Checkpoint
We arrived a bit early and crossed the half-open vehicle checkpoint. We saw the seamstresses who work in Barta'a arriving at the checkpoint and we continued on to Emricha to give people bags of used clothing. We gave the packages to a pleasant young woman who runs a grocery store and kiosk on the main road in the village. The store was well-kept and pleasant and the woman was pleased to receive the packages.
At 07:00 we returned to the Palestinian side of the checkpoint. The parking lot was not as crowded as usual, but there was a long line of people waiting to go through the only turnstile. Those who have permits to enter during the closure could only go into the seamline zone but not into Israel. We did not know that there were so many. The seamstresses entered first as well as a few women who came later and entered without waiting in line or being supervised by the Palestinian attendants. On the other hand, the men, who were impatient, were immediately apprehended by the attendants, at times bordering on violence. The threshold was not crossed. Photos taken by Tami Rituv show the line in the container that serves as a temporary shelter.
Among the people waiting was someone we know from Tura whose agricultural permit was not renewed, but he has an entry permit for the seamline zone. He told us that the staff from the Liaison and Coordination Administration are measuring the people's agricultural fields and are issuing a permit for every 300 square meters of land. The family has 7 dunams of land (700 square meters) and they have received permits for that land and none was available for him. He is still waiting for an answer. He feels that only God will bring peace. In the current situation, we unfortunately tend to agree with him.
07:50 – Barta'a – Reihan Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side
Five inspection windows were open and it appeared that people were crossing quickly. Some people came out holding their belts in their hands. People told us that there was no line on the Palestinian side. People were walking up the sleeve holding cups of coffee they had bought at the settler's kiosk. The Palestinian coffee vendors in both parking lots don't have a lot of business.
08:10 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
The checkpoint was already empty at this late hour and students and workers had already crossed. Two pedestrians and a battered car crossed. The driver waved hello as he passed. Someone had placed a piece of Formica covered board over the broken bench. We didn't know if this was done by a local resident or the army. (Photo Tami Rituv)
08:20 – We left a checkpoint that was manned by soldiers but no people were crossing.
08:10 מחסום טורה-שקד
בשעה מאוחרת זו המחסום ריק מתמיד. עובדים ותלמידים כבר עברו. עוברים שני הולכי רגל ומכונית חבוטה אחת. נהגה מנופף בידו לשלום. אולתר מושב לספסל בסככה. לוחות מצופים פורמייקה הונחו לאורכו. איננו יודעות אם זו יוזמה מקומית או צה''לית .
08:20 אנחנו עוזבות מחסום מאויש בחיילים וריק מעוברים ושבים.