Shuika -A checkpoint for only one family

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Observers:  Ruti Tuval, A. (Mari’s father) Translator:  Charles K.


I gave Mari (a handicapped girl from Yamun village, near Jenin) a ride to her physiotherapy in West Baqa, so I had a chance to see two checkpoints we don’t usually visit: one between West Baqa and East Baqa, which I’d visited with Neta many years ago, and the second a checkpoint sitting on the old road between Baqa and Tulkarm, near the village of Shuika, that I “discovered” a few years ago during a family outing.

Checkpoint 526, separating West Baqa from East, is located between the separation wall and the separation fence.  During our brief presence there one man crossed from east to west.  A female soldier who emerged from a small inspection room adjoining the gate warned me that it’s very dangerous here, and “Anyway, you’ve no business being here.”  A. waited in the car.

We continued south.  We passed Magal, Zemer and Bir a-Sika, through a glorious landscape of blossoming almond trees, pink carpets of campions and lush grass throughout the olive groves, and reached Checkpoint 664.  It seemed abandoned.  High concrete barriers block passage of vehicles, and on the other side of the security road the gate is damaged, charred and also blocked.

Fortunately, a man appeared.  He said he lives here, in the isolated house beside the huge tree easily visible on Google Earth’s satellite image.  He’s actually a resident of Shuika, from which he’s been cut off by the separation fence.  He showed us that the gate, in fact, isn’t locked.  He opened it wide and we found ourselves on the security road.  We approached the yellow gate across the road and found a hole in the fence wide enough for a person to go through.  To the left is a side gate, a kind of door.  For about three years the inhabitants of the isolated house have been passing through it using a key they received from the army, which they have to notify whenever they cross.  One of the daughters works in the administration of the Open University in Ramallah, and she goes through twice a day.