Northern checkpoints, Tura: open late almost as usual

Hannah H., with the driver, Pierre Marcia L., Translation     

05:45 – 07:30

05:45 - Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint

In the upper parking lot, the new, large shelter is lit with expensive lighting, but no one sits in it.  The platform, which, at this hour, should be filled with people passing through, is empty.  Transit drivers from Barta’a, wait for passengers and talk to each other calmly. “There aren’t many passengers,” they tell us.  The coffee vendor, who was “banished” from the parking lot to the junction of Barta’a, also has no customers.

Workers go up from the terminal at a slow pace.  Some of them travel using the transits from Barta’a, and some travel with their employers to Israel and to the Seamline Zone.

They have not renewed the permits which would allow workers to leave for work in the morning from Barta’a Checkpoint.  Also, after 06:00, the rate of those leaving the checkpoint for work in Israel doesn’t change.

06:30 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint

This is the hour that the checkpoint is supposed to be opened, but the checkpoint is locked and empty.  In the nearby settlement of Shaked, there are hammer blows and the new buildings being constructed there are approaching the checkpoint.  In about ten minutes, an industrious student arrives, whom we always meet when he passes through to high school in Jenin; he is almost always late. He tells us that last Friday, they didn’t open the checkpoint. Only at 12:00, they opened the gate for an hour and a half, to allow students, who are seniors in high school, to pass through. On Fridays, they have special lessons.  We hear bitter voices from the West Bank side, about the lateness in opening. 

At 06:55, I tried to call the District Coordination Office (DCO) to find out why they are late in opening, but no one answers.  At 07:00, we hear bitter voices from the West Bank side, about the delay and lateness in opening.

At last, at 07:10, the soldiers arrive.  Together with them, other students of the school in Jenin arrive, along with a nurse and her son.

The passage of the workers, students and vehicles in both directions, begins at 07:20—a delay of 40 minutes!

At 07:20, junior high school girls begin to arrive and they pass through quickly with no inspection.