Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

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Hannah Heller (photos), Ruthi Tuval (reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben Avraham

7.30 – 6.00

Route 611 to East Barta’a Junction

Workers were arriving who crossed through the holes in the fence and were getting into waiting cars.  About 20 cars were waiting for the workers on the side of the road opposite the village of Kalkis.  During the few minutes that we were there about 200 people crossed from the West bank through the holes in the fence rather than through the checkpoints.   Some of the workers were walking towards the parking lot at Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint because their rides were waiting there.  We assume that some people have crossing permits and some do not.  The parking lot opposite the holes in the fence were filled with cars and taxis that continued to arrive with workers.  

Barta’a Checkpoint 06:15 – There was little traffic here.  The owner of the kiosk estimated that only about 2000 people cross here in the mornings and the rest cross through holes in the fence.

We met a resident of Yaabed who lives near Tura Checkpoint and works as a gardener in the settlements of Shaked and Tal Menasheh near the checkpoint.   He only has a permit to cross at Barta’a Checkpoint and has to travel four times each day on long trips to get to work.  He does not look healthy and it is difficult for him to walk up the long sleeveinfo-icon at Barta’a Checkpoint every day.  He explained that in the morning the security guards, particularly the women, delay them.  He talked about the poor economic situation in the West bank and blames Abu Mazen.   He expects that if there will be elections in the West Bank Hamas will win.   What is going on in Jenin doesn’t interest him or affect him.   

A man approached us who is a resident of the West bank and married to a woman from West Barta’a located in Israel.  He transferred the ownership of his car to his wife because he can only cross the checkpoint with her in the car.   He wanted to know how he could arrange to drive the car through himself. 

Tura Checkpoint 07:00  the checkpoint was already open.  Workers were crossing and the small trucks were driving them to work in the seamline zone.   The schools opened two days ago (Sunday) and junior high school girls from Dahar al Malik in the seamline zone were crossing to school in Yaabed in the West bank.   Several cars crossed in both directions quickly.  The young workers who were crossing today were not particularly friendly and we wondered if this was due to the incident that occurred yesterday in which four Palestinians were killed by military forces who arrested a wanted terrorist in the refugee camp in Jenin.

There are also several holes in the fence next to this checkpoint.

There is no doubt that everyone benefits from the fact that those who cross through the holes in the fence are being ignored, but the checkpoints continue to be maintained and upgraded in the name of security, and Israel continued to make things difficult for residents of the West bank in any way possible.