Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

Observers: 
Tzafrira Zamir, Adina (Guest), Neta Golan (reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
Feb-8-2017
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Afternoon

15:00 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

We picked up two hitchhikers on the way to the checkpoint.  One was going to Um A Reihan and the other continued to the checkpoint with us and crossed to the West Bank.  We succeeded in understanding that he was a Bedouin who lived near the settlement of Tal Menashe in the seamline zone but because of the language barrier we did not understand where his village was or why he crossed to the West Bank.

There was very little traffic at the checkpoint, but there was a lot of litter.  The garbage container had been emptied but no one had cleaned up around it.   

15:30 – Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint

We drove by the full parking lots on both sides of the road leading to Jenin.  The side road that leads to this road from Yaabed is permanently locked by a metal gate.  We saw a long line of cars driving towards Jenin and Yaabed in front of the checkpoint as well as in the other direction. The checkpoint is manned and there are only random checks, and the checkpoint is filled with deep cracks, slowing traffic down and causing traffic to back up in a long line.  People are hurrying home after a long day's work and complaining about the delay. The situation is similar in the morning.  People complain about the cracks in the road that damage their tires and vehicles.  They asked if we could help, but there is nothing we can do. 

16:00 – Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

A lot of vehicles are parked in a disorderly fashion in the big parking lot.  A Palestinian attendant is present.  One of the drivers explained that a representative from the Liaison and Coordination Administration and the checkpoint managers will not let him sell pastries from his car.  It is difficult to understand why.  There is a booth under the awning that sells snacks and drinks and another booth belonging to the Wataniya Mobile Company.  People asked for help receiving an agricultural permit and another in eliminating a police prohibition to enter Israel and another man, who is over 55, to eliminate a prohibition to enter by the security services that prevents him from utilizing his right to enter Israel without a permit due to his age.  Our guest gets the impression that people appear to be happy and contented.   This is evidently due to work that allows people to make a living despite the difficult conditions.   

16:45 – We returned through the city of Barta'a.  The main street is a crowded market.  The attempts of the regional authority to improve the city have disappeared under mountains of old cardboard boxes that are lying in the street in front of the stores.