Barta'a-Reihan, Hermesh, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
We began at Hermesh Checkpoint, which marks the border between Area C, where we usually travel, and Area A, which is forbidden to us. Battalion Netzah Yehudah manages the checkpoint. Soldiers come down from the guard tower to chase us away from the area, which has now been decreed “military.” The checkpoint itself is open and the traffic is thin. A large pile of lightposts lies next to the checkpoint. Interesting: For what purpose are these lightposts intended?
Traffic is running without delay. An armored army vehicle is stationed beyond the checkpoint but, for now, there are no inspections. In the adjoining fields there are sheep and tobacco and okra are growing,
On the Palestinian side of the checkpoint, two brothers, about 10-11 years old, are selling coffee, and a younger, smiling brother joins them. It is very hot and the charismatic Hani looks like he is about to faint. We gave him water and he smiled again. Afterward, we gave the three of them bottles of cold water and they were very happy. They continued to run among the cars without any supervision.
Indeed, the parking lot was filled with cars, almost like in the “good days,” before they stopped issuing permits to cross over into Israel for work, but it is quiet here; the atmosphere is gloomy. Perhaps the approaching Ramadan contributes to it.
We skipped Tura Checkpoint in order see for ourselves that nothing was happening at the Fabric of Life Checkpoint, and afterward we went to say “Have a good Ramadan” to a lovely couple in Hirbat el Ra’adiya, where they still do not have electricity. Unlike all of their neighbors, they don’t have the required amount of money necessary to purchase a solar panel. But, el-Hamdulala (thank God), their children are doing fine and can support them. Their garden is beautiful.