Barta`a checkpoint: an active prayer corner

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Hanna Heller and Ruthi Tuval with Pierre the driver Translation: Naomi Halsted

06:00 Barta’a Reihan checkpoint

At the T-junction where Road 611 (from Harish and Barta’a) meets Road 596 (from Umm el-Fahm), numerous vehicles are picking up the large number of workers arriving from the West Bank. The parking lot is full as well and many workers are continuing to come out of the terminal into the lot. The shed at the end of the sleeveinfo-icon has turned into a prayer corner and at this hour, rows and rows of people are busy praying. Despite the crowding, it seems that this morning there are fewer than usual. We go down the sleeve to the turnstiles, passing by the cafeteria of the settler from Harish (apparently), who is enjoying his many customers. His coffee is said to be delicious. A man who emerges from the terminal says that it took 10 minutes to get through from one side to the other. By 6:30, the throngs have dispersed and Pierre drives us to the next checkpoint.


06:45 Tura-Shaked checkpoint

Surprise, surprise! The checkpoint was already opened at 6:40! We were told it was because of the olive harvest. There’s lively vehicular and pedestrian traffic – but no tractors. Seamstresses from the linen factory at the Shahak Industrial Park are waiting for their friend in the car that’s come to fetch them. Schoolgirls from Daher el-Maleh come up to the checkpoint holding their exercise books and school books open. A women soldier wearing a helmet is posted at the watchtower, for a change.