Barta'a checkpoint: Without the Palestinian ushers, there is again a mess in line

Hagar D., Neta Golan. Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

Introductory Tour of the Northern Checkpoints, 14:20 – 16:00

When we drove from Mei Ami to A’anin Checkpoint, Hagar asked where the green line was located.  It has disappeared.  We knew that A’anin Checkpoint was closed on Tuesdays, but I wanted to show Hagar the village of A’anin, which is cut off from its olive groves by the separation fence. The gate on the seamline zone side of the fence was open as usual, and the middle gate was locked. There was a large opening next to it.  Hagar noted that the opening was not large enough for a tractor to drive through.

Tura – Shaked Checkpoint was quiet, and the surroundings were littered and dirty.   A woman and a teenager crossed on foot while the husband/father drove through and picked them up in their car. 

On our way to Barta’a Checkpoint, we took the road leading to East Barta’a and the city of Harish.   We did not see any people crossing the fence. We saw the selling booths at the entrance to East Barta’a. There was a new colorful booth, selling toys.

We drove past Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint.  The Palestinian parking lot, the road shoulders, and the two parking lot up the road were unusually crowded. 

We continued to Hermesh Checkpoint.  The gate was wide open.  We could not enter Area A, as the red sign indicated.    The entire area turned green after the rain, and Hagar wondered who would choose to live in the settlement.

We drove north and stopped in Emricha. Our friend F. who owns the minimarket was in the middle of a lengthy phone call.  We bought something, and saw her young daughter, and moved on.

At Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint only concrete blocks on the road hindered the movement of traffic.

Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

The parking lot was full and disorderly.  A person complained that they no longer allowed the Palestinian security company to work at the checkpoint and that in the morning things have once again become difficult.  He asked us to talk to the managers of the checkpoint. 

An Israeli who lives in the village of Ein Sahala says that his family lives in Yaabed.  He was accustomed to crossing at the checkpoint in his car, and now his privilege has been revoked without any explanation.  An owner of a store in East Barta’a has a permit, including the right to cross with his car.   He was stopped at the checkpoint and his car was meticulously checked.  They found nothing, but still did not let him cross.  He has been told something about the Special Security Services, but he doesn’t know what or why.  He has never gotten in trouble.  He said that when he was 13 years old and his brother was 10, they were harassed by residents of Mei Ami.

On our way back to the seamline zone we were stopped at the vehicle checkpoint and told to drive to the inspection facility, where there were two Palestinian cars.  We were asked to open the doors, the hood, and the trunk.  A dog was brought to sniff the car, and our bags were placed on the conveyer belt.  We were not asked for our ID cards. When the ritual was over they opened the gate and we drove away. By then we had no time or desire to observe the seamline zone side of the checkpoint.