Barta'a-Reihan, Ya'bed-Dotan

Observers: 
Rachel Weizman (Driving) and Hassida Shafran (Reporting) Bracha Ben-Avraham, Translation
13/05/2018
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Afternoon

There was a lot of traffic on the road today and the road through Wadi Ara was jammed with traffic.   Evidently there was an accident.  There is a new road to the checkpoint via Katzir.

We arrived at Tura Shaked Checkpoint at 17:00.  The garbage container had been emptied, but there was garbage scattered around it.   Cars were going in and out of the checkpoint and collected passengers while others dropped people off.  Everything was quiet as usual – a "fabric of life" checkpoint.

Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint

On our way to the Yaabed Checkpoint we could see a lot of cars in the parking lot belonging to the checkpoint.  The hill at Zibda was covered with parked cars.  There was a tent at the entrance to each parking lot that served as a pay booth.  There were a lot of numbered signs along the road to Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint.   We were received at the checkpoint by soldiers who were concerned for our safety and advised us to stand behind the concrete blocks at the inside of the checkpoint.  They reminded us about the terrorist attack that took place a short time ago.

A lot of Palestinian cars crossed the checkpoint without being checked.  Everything was routine.  "That's what life is like here."  Suddenly despite all the signs warning Israelis not to enter Area A we saw a car with Israeli license plates driving east towards Yaabed or Jenin.  Workers were working in the tobacco fields on the sides of the road and drivers were waiting for them in attractive cars.   There were a lot of Israeli cars on all the roads that were evidently bringing people home from work in Israel.

We returned to Barta'a Checkpoint.  There were free parking spaces in the Palestinian parking lot.   Workers were walking down the sleeveinfo-icon to the terminal.  A police car was standing outside and his presence was causing even more of a traffic jam.