Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Anna Netzer – Shay, Reporting, Pierre (driver) Translation: Bracha Ben Avraham

05:40 – Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint

Several vehicles are waiting for workers to come out of the terminal.   People are moving through relatively quickly and it is not as crowded as on other days.  I walked down to the lower parking lot because Israeli Arab drivers are not allowed to cross this checkpoint.  On the way I passed the kiosk belonging to the settler and watched the usual sight that makes me so angry:  a long line of Palestinians sitting on the concrete benches drinking coffee while the owners of the kiosk are busy.   Hadi, the Palestinian kiosk owner, the disabled man with the motorbike, and others who attempted to sell drinks and snacks were all evicted from the checkpoint so that the settlers could make a living here instead.   

There are six windows open inside the terminal and people are passing through at a reasonably rapid rate.   Some of the people exit as they fasten their belts, with lit cigarettes dangling from their lips.   On my way to the parking lot I walk beside a young man returning to his home in the West Bank.   This morning he left for work as usual, but when he got to work where he works as a painter his boss told him there was no work today. I asked: Why couldn't he have called to tell you not to come?  The young man gave a vague answer and continued on his way. 

Hundreds of people are waiting in a very long line in the parking lot and cars were parking in an orderly fashion under the watchful eye of two Palestinian attendants.  Several Palestinians are praying under the awning before joining the line.  According to what people say about 2500 men and women come through this checkpoint.     

At 06:40 I attempted to go back the way I had come by the route that bypasses the terminal, but the security guards did not understand what I was doing there and tried to clarify unsuccessfully.  In the end I returned along the road despite the fact that other security guards forbid me to go that way.

06:55 – Tura Shaked Checkpoint

Most of the people crossed here after 07:00.  Vehicles crossed from the West Bank to the seamline zone.  At 07:10 the first students arrived on their way to school.  Some of the people entering the seamline zone continue on their way to Shaked to build houses in the settlement.   A young man arrives on a bicycle and tells about his 6-week-old son in fluent Hebrew.   The child was born with a heart defect and is being treated at Tel HaShomer Hospital in Israel.  He has proper permits and wants to arrange a ride to the hospital to bring his son for a checkup before he undergoes surgery.   The matter has been brought to the attention of Yuval, a special and generous person who runs "The Road to Recovery" organization. 

We left at 07:35.