Barta'a checkpoint: The number of eligible persons seems to be increasing
14:50 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint
A transportation vehicle waits next to the sleepy checkpoint. One female passenger got out and crossed to the West Bank. The driver waits. We don’t know for whom or for what.
15:10 – Anin Checkpoint
Five men, one young man and a tractor loaded with junk wait to pass through the checkpoint. They warm up next to a small bonfire and also make coffee on it. We don’t join in the coffee this time, but get Salvia leaves for tea. Our friend, M., says that having reached the age of 55 years, he is finally allowed to cross the checkpoint to Israel with no permit. His age doesn’t grant him passage at the agricultural checkpoint, Anin; here you need a special permit. The soldiers arrive and after them, an additional army vehicle, that stops next to us. The driver opens the window and asks worriedly, if we need help because we mistakenly took the wrong road. We don’t need help and we did not make a mistake.
Two additional people arrive around the time the checkpoint closes, at 15:30. When we drive in the direction of the junction, a young, lovely couple greets us. It is already 15:35 and we are worried that they won’t be able to cross. The two calm us down by telling us they are residents of the bedouin village on the slope, and they don’t need to cross through the checkpoint.
15:50 – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint, Palestinian side
The sides of the road are empty. We park on the side in order to give a sack of toys to the head of the childrens’ nursery in Zabada. The parking lot is totally filled. With difficulty we maneuver by foot among the parked cars and those women who travel home to the West Bank with their husbands. There are many people returning from work at this hour. It seems to us that the number of work permit holders who cross at Barta’a keeps growing.
16:10 –The checkpoint is still very crowded. We travel home.