Barta'a-Reihan, Hermesh, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

Rachel W., Sis (guest), Ruti T. (reporting), Marcia L., Translation


15:00 – 17:00

Harish and Ya’bed Checkpoints

The traffic zigzags quite freely. At the Ya’bed checkpoint, a nice, seemingly sympathetic soldier and officer ask us to introduce ourselves.  As usual, we describe the anomaly of governing by a foreign army, the daily lives of citizens. They obviously refuse to see themselves as a soldier of an occupation.  They simply serve the security of the State of Israel. 

Barta’a Checkpoint

The roads next to the checkpoint, on the Palestinian side, are devoid of cars. We figured out what happened: the police fined dozens of drivers who parked there, a very heavy fine: NIS 400 per car. All the parking lots, including those far away, were totally full. We also had to park in a place farther away than usual.

A merchant in Hadera complains that he is not allowed to pass through the Barta’a checkpoint before 07:00 and so has to cross at a distant checkpoint. He asks that we help him cross at 06:00. Anyone who has a new magnetic card is unable to cross with it. Indeed, in the end, he crosses after a computerized inspection. However, he has to get a new card for, losing a whole ‘s worth of work. To the two young coffee sellers, two more were added. They run around between the cars with their thermos bottles.

Tura Checkpoint

A man greeted us and told us what sounded like a delusional story: he has to present a birth certificate for each one of his small children, every time he passes through the checkpoint. It isn’t enough to bring his identity card. A male and a female soldier approached us who told us this was indeed the truth. They confessed that they have no logical explanation for this demand.

We asked our guest, who is Rachel’s colleague at the Haifa University library what her impressions were of her first visit to the “Land of Checkpoints.”  She said that the checkpoints aroused in her fear and associations of the ghetto, giving emphasis to the phrase “the normalcy of the occupation” that has recently been critically discussed on the internet.