Barta'a-Reihan, Hermesh, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

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Rachel Weizman (driver) and Ruthi Tuval (reporting). Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

At 15:00 we drove past Reihan – Barta’a checkpoint, which was crowded on the Palestinian side, with cars parked on the sides of the road. We visited Hermesh Checkpoint, where the watchtower was rusted and abandoned. A large truck was winding its way carefully among the concrete blocks. We drove on to Yaabed–Dotan Checkpoint, where traffic was also moving freely.  A young lieutenant came up from the direction of the pillbox to check if we were all right.  We were concerned for him because usually the soldiers are accompanied by someone else who looks around.

We discovered a field of okra in full flower. The road was narrow without broad margins, but we had to have a look.  

We drove past the parking lot at Reihan Barta’a Checkpoint and it was very crowded. Most of the workers were not wearing masks.  We parked in the parking lot on the seamline zone side to observe the new transportation regulations.  Two new yellow taxis were standing next to the covered area entrance to the sleeveinfo-icon and were attempting to collect passengers to Jenin.  The price was NIS 10.  Most of the workers passed quickly by them and walked down the sleeve, which has been extended, and its entrance is now further away from the road.  On the way back the taxis will have to waste another half-hour or more at the vehicle checkpoint.

Nothing was new at Tura Checkpoint.  It is not  busy and the garbage from the IDF had accumulated again.  A white transport vehicle arrived to collect passengers who had come from the West Bank.  It is less than five minutes’ drive from Um-Reihan.

At the crossing from the Palestinian side of Barta’a Checkpoint (Area C) to the Israeli side (the seamline zone) we met a very young security guard whom we had not seen before. He asked us if we had been in contact with Palestinians and we said we had not.  When we asked him if he knew who we were he answered “yes,” and said that he has been reading our website and that there was a lot to learn from it.