The northern checkpoints: Is a military police officer trying to remove us from the checkpoints?

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Hagar Dror-Meliniak)Photos) and Hannah Heller Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

 7.30 – 6.00 

Yesterday a fatal shooting incident occurred on Route 585, the road from Jenin to  Tulkarem on which Yaabed-Dotan Checkpoint is located.  Five people were injured.  The shooters came from  the nearby town of Yaabed. 

Barta’a Checkpoint – The checkpoint was functioning as usual.  The parking lot was crowded with cars taking workers from the West Bank to their jobs in Israel and the seamline zone.  Most of the workers had come from the village of Kafin southeast of the checkpoint.  They were unable to travel west on Route 585 today because the road was closed because of yesterday’s incident.  Most of them will arrive late today.  Yesterday after the shooting the checkpoint was closed to people coming from the West Bank to the seamline zone or Israel, and only workers crossing in the opposite direction to the West bank were permitted to cross..  

A’anin Checkpoint – The construction of the wall is being carried out rapidly and the part that will serve as an enclosure is nearly completed.  A huge sophisticated iron gate has been placed there but it could not be opened today so crossing took place through a small side door.  17 people crossed but the tractors had to turn back.

We met an officer from the District Coordination and Liaison Office  named Yitzhak who falsely claimed that the road leading to the checkpoint was a closed military zone and that we were forbidden to be there.   He has recently attempted to prevent women from Machsom Watch to observe the checkpoints in the area.   There are no signs in the area stating this, and if the Palestinians are permitted to drive there than why aren’t we?   We showed him permits issued to us by the IDF spokesman stating that we were permitted to be there as a human rights organization, but that did not satisfy him

Tura Checkpoint – The checkpoint was manned by soldiers, but people were not crossing.  There is a school in Yaabed that many students from the seamline zone attend and they cross at this checkpoint.  However, today the school is closed and the matriculations examinations that were scheduled to take place have been canceled.   Workers from Tura can only get to work in Israel and in the seamline zone through Barta’a Checkpoint, which is much farther...  it is still not clear whether the checkpoint will be open tomorrow.