Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Anna N.S. with Driver Pierre. Translation: Bracha B.A.


On our way to Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint we saw road signs designating Israeli settlements and communities, but none pointing to Palestinian villages besides the divided city of Barta'a. We also saw a recreation area called "Reihan Forest," for th use of Israelis and also Palestinians from the seamline zone, with a rangers' station left over from the British Mandate.

15:15 – New Barta'a Checkpoint

We arrived a bit early and the upper area was relatively empty.  I went down the sleeveinfo-icon that leads to the terminal.  The path was clean and the water cooler was working and had a faucet for filling up bottles with cold water.  The refreshments stand was closed.   

15:30 – Workers began to arrive and walk noisily down the sleeve.The average age of most was 30+, but there were some younger people as well. It took people 6-7 minutes to come out on the Palestinian side, depending upon how crowded it was.  A group of women and children came up towards the seamline zone for some unknown event in Barta'a.  They were followed by another group of women and children and older women.

A line of light trucks was waiting as a truck with building materials was being checked and left at 15:45. 

People approached me about permits to work in Israel and I explained the procedure.  People also asked about our job at the checkpoint and I explained that it was to remind people what was happening, to protest against the occupation and against the infringement upon human rights by posting reports and photographs on our website in Hebrew and English.      

16:00 – 16:30 – Tura Checkpoint

The checkpoint was quiet and the few people were crossing through without any delays. People were tired, it was very hot, and everyone continued on their way  home.

On our way back from the checkpoint we picked up a woman and a child, residents of Um al Reihan in the seamline zone who were returning from the hospital in Jenin.  Her seven-year-old son suffers from several illnesses, but there is no clinic in the entire seamline zone except for the one in Barta'a, where she often has to wait for a long time and the doctor treating her son is not always there. The trip to Jenin involves crossing several checkpoints in both directions and she has several other children waiting at home.  This way of life involves intolerable hardship for the mother and her young son.