Quiet at the northern checkpoints but in the northern West Bank the situation is getting worse

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Tami Rituv (photos), Neta Golan (Reporting) Translation:  Bracha Ben-Avraham

15:30 – Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

The sign directing traffic to the Israeli or Palestinian lane was turned off.  We were driving in the correct lane.  All the parking lots were completely filled.   A Palestinian attendant was attempting to instill order in the “official” parking lot  and even the parking lot for trucks bringing merchandise to the seamline zone was full.  Many people were returning from work, as well as a few women.    A young couple crossed while the father carried a babyinfo-icon.  A group of waiters wearing dark pants and white shirts crossed through the terminal into Israel.   A woman with three small children prepared to cross through the vehicle checkpoint to her waiting car.   The shaded area next to the kiosk wagon has been equipped with a large fan.  The peanut vendor was there and one of his customers offered us peanuts.    A resident of A’anin who makes his living driving people from A’anin to the Barta’a Checkpoint  via Jenin told us that the trip often takes an hour and a half because of traffic jams and checkpoints.  This is a clue to what has been going on recently in the area.


16:10 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint

There were no soldiers at the checkpoint and a lot of traffic was moving in both directions.  A military vehicle was parked next to the pillbox near the village of Emricha.  The garbage containers in the area had been emptied and the area was clean.


16:20 – Hermesh Checkpoint

The checkpoint was open and unmanned.   Squills were flowering along the roadside.


16:30 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint

We were surprised to see that after years of being neglected, the bench under the shed had been equipped with a seat made of white Formica.    Perhaps this was someone’s private initiative.  Cars were driving through in both directions.  One car crossing to the seamline zone was driven by a woman, which is not a common sight here.  Her three children were seated in the back.  Workers were arriving at the checkpoint via Israeli transport vehicles and crossing to the West Bank on foot.


16:45 – We returned to Israel with a sense that we don’t know or understand what is happening here.