05:30 – Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint
A lot of workers have already gone through the terminal and are waiting for their rides to work in the upper parking lot. A group of women is also waiting. A steady stream of people is making their way through the fenced-in sleeve that leads out of the terminal.
05:40 – The lower parking lot is still partially empty. People are entering the terminal in large groups without having to wait.
06:00 – The parking lot filled up and the line grew longer, but remained orderly. A 55-year-old man told us that he has been working in Israel for years, but recently there has been a problem with his magnetic card. He has been detained and then released without being told what happened. Today he was detained again and was told by the security guard that he had to go to the Liaison and Coordination Administration and see the Special Security services. He was upset and explained that he, nor any member of his family, had ever had any security problems. His children are in Russia studying at the university.
At 06:10 the line became longer and extended all the way to the road. This is the rush hour when everyone is going to work. There was no pushing or shoving and everyone knew that he would eventually get his turn. A young man tried to enter the line with his friend and the ushers quietly reminded him that he had to wait in line like everyone else.
More than 30 trucks were waiting in the vehicle inspection line. Most of them had been waiting since 03:00 and the facility would only open at 08:00. We talked to the drivers who once again asked why the facility does not open earlier. We explained that we had not succeeded in making any changes in the opening hours, and their spokesman also explained that he had not succeeded either. Evidently checking pedestrians and vehicles at the same time would require more manpower, making the running of the checkpoint more expensive.
06:40 – Tura Shaked Checkpoint
The soldiers were present as well as Palestinians, but no one was crossing the checkpoint. The tobacco had already been harvested in the field nearby and the field is being prepared for the next planting. At 06:46 the first Palestinian woman crossed and we greeted each other.
People continued to come through the checkpoint. Some waited for rides and others continued to walk to the next junction. Evidently the checkpoint will be open on Yom Kippur since it is a "fabric of life" checkpoint.
The first school children arrived at 07:15. We left for home.