North, 14.08.2016 Morning
Karin Atadgi, Ruthi Tuval (photos, reporting)
Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
05:45 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side
The line is not particularly long. It occasionally grows longer and then diminishes again. Five women are waiting patiently next to the free turnstile. When we managed to get the attention of the person responsible for opening the turnstiles she immediately opened it for them. The men in line inside the terminal immediately let them go through first in order to save them the embarrassment of being crowded together with the men.
Two people approached us. One has a permit that was renewed three days ago but according to the inspectors he has been banned by the police from entering Israel. The other fails to enter through one inspection point but succeeds in crossing through another after an hour, wasting valuable time.
06:20 – There is now a long waiting line. We measured the time it took for people to get from the end of the line to the turnstile and it took ten minutes.
The coffee vendor is still there and many people are buying coffee.
06:45 – Shaked – Tura CheckpointToday the checkpoint opened on time at 06:30 and people are crossing quickly. We were told that on Saturday crossing was particularly slow, but today people are pleased. One of them praises the soldiers who make things go more smoothly, as opposed to the border patrol who make things difficult and are disliked.
07:30 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone SideMany workers are still waiting for their rides to work and more and more are coming out of the terminal. The two vehicle inspection points are operating and a small truck loaded with eggs is being checked. Have they opened the inspection facility earlier? We hear cheering and a crowd of people are gathered next to the kiosk. One of the security guards approaches us as we return to our car looking surprised and thinks we are lost.
We spoke with M. from the village of Sida, which is located in the West Bank not far from the checkpoint. He is 45 years old, speaks fluent Hebrew, and is the father of six daughters and a son, three of whom are students at A-Najakh University. He owns a marble stonecutting factory in East Barta'a. Last Thursday two IDF bulldozers arrived at 05:00 in the morning and drove onto one of the areas belonging to the factory. They destroyed buildings and machinery and confiscated valuable equipment under the pretext that he is infringing upon the land of the settlement of Ilan located some distance away. Another factory located nearby was saved from being demolished by an important person from a community in Wadi Eron. Meanwhile M. has been forced to dismiss eight workers but he intends to look or a new location and continue to serve his numerous clients in Israel. Karin took a video about M. and his story that will be published.