'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Roni Shalit, Hanna Heller

05.50. Barta’a checkpoint

In the upper parking lot, on the seamline zone side, there are few workers and vehicles. The mornings of large crowds have vanished. In the kiosk in the middle of the metal sleeveinfo-icon leading to and from the terminal (an enclosed path for pedestrians) are just two people. People who are coming up now from the terminal are construction workers who work in the settlements Shaked and Reihan, in the SHAHAK industrial park in the seamline zone, and a few work in Harish (Israel). The lower parking lot on the West Bank side is empty.

Anyone arriving immediately enters the terminal, where the operators of the five open windows are idle most of the time. Was it for this that they had built such a complex checkpoint on such a large area? The young woman working in the kiosk confirms our fears that the number of workers passing decreases from day to day. We felt also that today there were fewer trucks carrying goods to the Barta’a market. Perhaps because of the rain?

06:30. A’anin checkpoint

The checkpoint was opened on time. Three by three, people approach for permit-checking. About 40 people and two tractors pass quietly and quickly; two youths with no permits are sent back home. One of them was telling us why he was sent back; the officer heard him, came out to scold him and to tell us the correct version.

An elderly man told us that his 66-year-old wife had been refused a permit, because of a prevention order by General Security Services, for an unknown reason.

The D.C.O. chief, who happened to be present, came out in a vehicle in the direction of the seamline zone. When he returned we introduced ourselves and he said that he was observing the workers who had exited the checkpoint and noted that in fact, they all continued to work in Israel. He said also that he was now responsible to see that those working in Israel should no longer come out in the morning through Barta’a checkpoint – which explains the difference in traffic we have been reporting lately.

07:00. Tura checkpoint

The checkpoint opened at 07:00, half an hour late, instead of at 06:30. 40 people and 11 cars pass to the seamline zone. 4 cars and a few adults and senior .pupils pass to the West Bank. The young female pupils, all wearing hijabs, begin to pass at 07:15