Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

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Karin A., (Driving), Roni S., (Reporting) Translation: Bracha B.A.

The Usual Checkpoint Routine

05:30 – Barta'a Checkpoint

Many Palestinians are waiting at the exit from the checkpoint after crossing quickly.    We drove to the orderly half-empty parking lot.  The far parking lot was also empty and there were no cars parked on the side of the road.  The two Palestinian parking attendants showed us into the parking lot and did not take any money because they knew that we would be leaving soon.   There was no waiting line, but we were told that when the checkpoint opened at 05:00 there were many people waiting to cross. 

At 05:45 a lot of busses and minibuses arrived and the workers disappeared into the turnstiles. 

The truck drivers complained that attendants began to check them only at 08:00.  It is not clear if they constitute a group that could work together and put pressure on the Liaison and Coordination Administration or if Irit could help them.   We spoke with one of the drivers but he felt that this was not feasible. 

06:00 – We returned to the upper exit and descended to the entrance to through the long, fenced – in sleeveinfo-icon to observe people exiting the terminal.  We passed the kiosk that has turned into a coffee house.  Despite the Ramadan fast it was filled with people drinking coffee, eating, and smoking.  Workers were coming out quickly after a short check.  Three windows were operating.

At 06:15 we left for Tura – Shaked Checkpoint.   At 06:25 we passed the soldiers who had left their base and were making their way slowly along the road slowly as usual.  They arrived at 06:35.   We heard voices of Palestinians who were waiting on the other side of the checkpoint.   When we asked why they had not yet begun to let people through the woman soldier answered that the computer had to warm up! 

The first people began to cross at 06:40.  Most were workers going to work in the seamline zone.  One woman smiled as she greeted us and continued on her way.  A man stopped next to us and spoke in fluent Hebrew.    He has been working as a cook in Israel for many years.   He complained that his son, who is less than 16 years old, was not allowed to cross the checkpoint despite the fact that he is listed on his ID card.  He has had many problems crossing despite the fact that he has an agricultural permit and lives in Tura and his fields are located on the other side of the fence.  

By 07:20 is appeared that all the Palestinians , including several cars, had crossed.  We left.