Barta'a-Reihan, Hermesh, Tura-Shaked
The weather during this observation is very cold. According to Google it is 7º C., but feels like 4º.
The checkpoint is open and the passage zigzags around the huge cement blocks, without delays. An abundance of white and pink anemones already blooms in the fields. We are on the way to the Ya’bed checkpoint, which is aslo open.
The entire area of the Barta’a Checkpoin,t on the Palestinian side, is full of parked cars. Drivers of the private cars that operate as taxis wait in their cars and the others stand outside, covered up in their coats. Little Mohammed and Hani run around between the cars with their coffee thermoses, dressed too lightly for the weather. At the exit from the checkpoint we are requested by the secure people to hand over our identity cards and wait at the red “X” in the road. We are released after a few minutes without an explanation.
A car is waiting to cross the checkpoint in the direction of the West Bank. We wait five minutes and enter to find out why the car is delayed: “The woman soldier went to the lavatory. The car has to wait. Go outside immediately.” In the meantime, there are additional cars at the checkpoint, coming from two directions. The first one waits at least 15 minutes. Pedestrians, among them a man carrying a parrot in a cage for his children. He passes quickly in the direction of the West Bank. A woman from Umm Reihan, returning from the West Bank, who has already passed through on foot— is waiting for her husband, who is delayed in his car. In Umm Reihan, we enters the minimarket and stock up on bio-yogurt, cookies, dates, and other sweets - everything you need for the coming Tu B’Shevat (festival of the trees) holiday.