ברטעה-ריחן, טורה-שקד, יעבד-דותן
14:50: We arrived at Barta’a-Rihan checkpoint from Harish. On the way, we saw a maintenance vehicle on the security road. All is quiet opposite the breach in the fence. At the checkpoint, there are a few cars in the northern parking lot, but not a living soul. The southern parking lot (Area C) is full, but there’s still no movement there.
15:00 Ya’bed-Dotan checkpoint
A few cars pass without any hold-up. Drivers wave a greeting. An officer and a regular soldier come down to us from the pillbox. They ask who we are, but are not interested in us, and this time aren’t even concerned about our welfare. Apathetic.
On the way to Emricha, a military vehicle is parked at the place where Ahmad El-Aziz Hachmat from the village Mirka in south Jenin (according to Ynet) was burned to death on December 21, 2021. He was suspected of an attempted ramming attack. Two soldiers are apparently picking up the remains or cleaning up.
We moved on in the direction of the Hermesh settlement just to make sure there’s nothing new there. A rusty watchtower and concrete blocks on the narrow road are a reminder of a checkpoint on the other side of which lies Area A.
Driving back to Barta’a-Rihan checkpoint
Driving on route 611, we noticeג for the first time a long, light structure to the north, far from the checkpoint. In an attempt to understand what it was, we drove in the direction of east Barta’a. We were unable to associate it with any locality. Maybe it’s in a Palestinian village, maybe some nearby settlement. It needs to be clarified. In the meantime, workers began to arrive at the breach in the separation fence.
We decided to carry on and get to the Tura checkpoint roundabout through east and west Barta’a. We drove along the main road, packed with people and cars, altogether a rich décor, full of attractions. We stop at one of the nurseries to buy pansies, rain chimes, and crocuses.
16:40 Tura-Shaked checkpoint
The traffic here is livelier than ever. Lots of men and women crossing in both directions. Here too, we noticed apathetic soldiers. A driver who was hurrying towards the West Bank was now waiting impatiently in the middle of the checkpoint, but the iron barrier was blocking his way. The soldiers ignored him, chatting amongst themselves beside the raised concrete blocks. When we tried to draw their attention to the driver, they dawdled, rather deliberately, and eventually raised the barrier for him. Another car passed swiftly through after him.