Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
This checkpoint is the “fabric of life” checkpoint that is open most hours of the day (According to the army’s definition, the checkpoint exists so that Palestinians from both sides of the West Bank can lead their lives with minimal interference caused by the separation fence. At 15:30, the checkpoint is open and there is almost no action. Three children and a dog pass in the direction of a single house. This house belongs to a family from Tura that didn’t agree to move to the village when the checkpoint was set up; they live outside the village and outside the fence that surrounds the village (next to the settlement of Shaked). The children obviously study in Tura and pass through the checkpoint every day.
A resident of Tura arrives on an electric bicycle from work in the industrial area of Shahak, which is between the adjacent settlements. The man is pleased with his economic condition; which, compared to many others, is “OK” (NIS 5,200 a month). He doesn’t barbeque in his yard so that he doesn’t hurt the feelings of neighbors whose economic condition is worse than his. One of his children is recovering at Tel HaShomer Hospital to which he was transferred from the hospital in Jenin. He tells us that someone named Ruti (who stood opposite him but he doesn’t identify her and she doesn’t identify him), referred him to the NGO “Road to Recovery” and they were responsible for transferring the child to Tel HaShomer. The child’s condition continues to improve. The father and mother alternately stay with the child, she during the week and he, on the weekend.
There are no guards at the locked iron gate, which blocks the lateral road to Yabed. Usually there is an army jeep standing there. But through the trees we saw the barbed wire fence that continues, it appears, to the checkpoint.
In earlier observations, I did not see delays at this checkpoint, even though there were always soldiers in the guard tower. This time, from a distance, we saw a long line of cars crawling slowly towards the checkpoint. We thought that perhaps today, for some reason, there was a more thorough inspection, especially because we saw a number of military vehicles on the roadsides. As we approached the checkpoint, we observed that not only did the cars progress slowly, but they also jerked from side to side. When we tried to pass, it was clear that there were deep cracks in the road that were formed recently. A soldier who came out of the pillbox explained that three days ago (last Friday), someone opened fire on the pillbox from one of the cars, probably to cause injury. The cracks on the road were made deliberately so that drivers would have to slow down to allow the soldiers time to retaliate and respond to attempts to harm them.
We went down in the direction of the terminal with Palestinians who returned from work and who were on their way home. We observed them on the path that surrounds the terminal and as they go through the turnstile that doesn’t stop turning as people pass through. In contrast to other times, the settler’s kiosk was open also at this hour. People stopped for coffee and cake before returning home. We returned home without drinking coffee there.