Barta'a-Reihan, Jalama, Tura-Shaked
06:15 – Jalameh Gilboa Checkpoint
We had not visited this checkpoint for a long time and we came because of Palestinians’ complaints about how the checkpoint was being managed. This large checkpoint is located on the outskirts of the village of Jalameh about five kilometers north of Jenin. Thousands of Palestinian workers cross here into Israel every day. The former asphalt parking lot has been converted into a pedestrian crossing to the large muddy parking lot that used to be used for moving cargo back-to-back (with trucks facing each other to move cargo from one to the other). Now busses, taxis, and other transport vehicles park here and there is a lot of disorder. Many workers were waiting for rides here and on the main road. We walked down the sleeve to the entrance to the terminal. To our left on the other side of the fence there is a clean and imaginatively-designed terminal on the other side of a clean canal decorated with pieces of colored tiles. There are trees and bushes growing there pruned in the style of historic gardens in Europe. Everything was extremely well-kept and orderly. This is the crossing that will open at 08:00 for Israelis Arabs, who are permitted to enter Jenin with their cars.
There is only one turnstile at the entrance to the terminal which is being used at this time of day by people crossing into Israel to go to work, as well as by some people returning to the West bank after night shifts. People crossing to the West bank used to be able to cross freely here as at Reihan – Barta’a but that is no longer possible. There is a gate next to the turnstile that someone used in order to bring a wheelchair through. We were told that crossing here takes 15 minutes, but we didn’t know what goes on at 05:00 in the morning and it is not possible to observe from the other side.
On our way to Tura – Shaked Checkpoint and Barta’a we stopped to observe the Salem Military Camp. This place no longer serves as a checkpoint but is now the place where the offices of the Liaison and Coordination offices, military courts, the Palestinian liaison, are located. Dozens of people were waiting on the other side for the place to open. The side of the road along the camp is filled with litter like the Tura – Shaked Checkpoint and looks like a garbage dump.
08:10 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
The checkpoint was quiet. A few cars crossed quickly. A man came out of the checkpoint fastening his belt – an uncommon sight here.
08:40 – Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint
Here, too, it was already quiet. The far parking lot was completely full. There was still room for the merchants who would arrive within the hour in the closer parking lot. The parking lot for the trucks was also full. People told us they were already beginning to be checked in groups of five. They also told us about the large amount of water that had flooded the riverbed just south of the checkpoint that unfortunately simply flows down to the sea.