Permits are granted easily to people who work at building Israel, but those who want to cultivate the occupied land are not granted permits.
Tura Shaked Checkpoint – 06:50 – 07:00
The gates to the checkpoint were already open and the soldiers were getting organized ten minutes before the checkpoint was due to open at 07:00. The first person came out at 07:05. Despite the fact that there were few people crossing today, the crossing was slow and the last person in the small group that had been waiting near the turnstile came out only at 07:30.
The reason there are so few people crossing in the last two weeks is that permits are not being granted or renewed. This is part of the land annexation.
The road from Katzir to the checkpoint is being widened and we saw a tobacco field that had been converted into a building site for an unknown purpose.
Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint 07:45 – 08:45
It was very crowded and the upper parking lot was filled with cars and people who had come from all over the West Bank to ride to work. Most of them were workers who are building the city of Harish. Groups of people were coming up from the terminal, where there were three inspection windows operating. As the crossing continued one or two windows closed and when it became crowded again one or two reopened. We could see lines next to the inspection windows. We saw that it took 10 – 15 minutes for people to cross. One man emerged who was very angry because he had asked to bring several kilograms of coffee for an event at the cemetery, but he was told that he was permitted to bring it across only after 09:00. The coffee remained at the checkpoint.
When we left the parking lots were almost empty. It appears that for people building the settlement of Harish there is no problem getting entry permits, but for those who want to cultivate the occupied land, there are many difficulties.