Barta'a-Reihan checkpoint: "You and us are for peace, Inshallah, let it come already"
14:45 We travel through Barta’a checkpoint from the Seam Zone to Area C
Final days of the Ramadan fast. Through the long sleeve, laborers, mostly young, are hurrying early to return to their homes in the West Bank. The parking lots are not as full as they usually are. We continue south, stopping at the overpass above the road that connects Yaabed from the east with Aqaba and Kapin from the west. Although this is a highway exit you can’t use it because the exit is blocked in both directions. We go down by foot to the lower road for the first time. A couple traveling from the Ya’abed direction stop to chat. The man sums up our conversation: “So you and us are for peace. Inshallah, let there be peace already”.
15:10 Ya’abed-Dotan checkpoint
Traffic is lively. The checkpoint itself looks more roomy. A few concrete blocks were moved away. Soldiers come out of the Pillbox to remove us. An angry settler woman stops by us in the junction. So much so that she says that although she has a new great-grandchild, “From you - I want no congratulations”. So we don’t congratulate.
15:30 Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint, the Palestinian side
Today is the stormy Jerusalem Day, but not here. Here all is calm. Everyone is pleasant. The cab drivers complain about not enough passengers. Every once in a while a line forms in front of the carousel that converges with the כביש המערכת. The carousels on both sides lock, the gates open remotely and a military or DCL vehicle passes by on this road possesing very wide margins (for security reasons) which winds its way along the separation fence. The labourers are loaded with holiday gifts.
16:00 Tura-Shaked checkpoint
Traffic is moving today with no delay. A goat herd passes back to the West Bank. A female military police soldier notifies the herder that this is it, they will not be allowed to pass back through. Then she argues with us insisting on her right to eat and drink in the presence of the Palestinians who are fasting for the Ramada. “What, and do they stand with me during the Memorial day siren?!” We gave up.