Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Ruthi Tuval (photos), Neta Golan (reporting). Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham


06:00 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint

A lot of people are sitting on the curb or standing in groups waiting for their rides to work, and a lot of vehicles are waiting in the parking lot for passengers. There is no proper coordination of the hour in which people cross the checkpoint and the rides to work.

There is a long line in the Palestinian parking lot to enter the terminal and the line reaches the edge of the parking lot. It is orderly and quiet. Three Palestinian supervisors take charge of the line while another takes charge of the supervisors. Used signs from a taxi stand have been positioned to make things even more orderly. People are entering the terminal in large groups of up to 130 at a time. Occasionally a line forms at the entrance to the terminal but it disappears quickly. A man wearing a bright red shirt took 17 minutes to cross from the end of the line to the turnstile.  

At 06:20 half a dozen seamstresses arrive and enter the second turnstile that is mainly used by the night shift workers to exit the terminal. A young man tells us that he has a valid permit but has not been allowed to go to work for the last few days, and has been sent to the Liaison and Coordination Administration. They told him that everything was in order. We suggested that he try again today and we too would try to help. He has been able to cross. 

At 06:30 people continued to arrive and the line was not any shorter.

06:40 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint

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Angry people wait on the Palestinian Side of the checkpoint

The soldiers arrived on time for a change, but the generator is not working and they try and make a temporary arrangement and try and open the gate to the vehicle crossing to the West Bank.  People are waiting angrily next to the turnstile, to cross to the seamline zone. The checkpoint commander, a military policewoman, shouts at the Palestinians and at us. She tells us that we need a police permit to observe the checkpoint. 

07:05 – The generator begins to work. Five women cross. Four work at the settlement of Shaked and one is a dentist's secretary in Barta'a. Three people are extremely angry and claim that this is the worst of the checkpoints, and that at Barta'a thousands of people cross without any problem but here they can't even get a few people across. 

By 07:30 most of the people have crossed and we leave with two people whom we gave a ride to the plastics factory at the settlement of Reihan. One is the manager who has the key to the factory and the other is the only worker. The owner lives in Netanya and usually comes late. At 07:40 we drive past Barta'a Checkpoint and there are not many people waiting in line. People are still walking up the sleeveinfo-icon to the parking lot. 

07:50 – On our way to Emricha we see the auxiliary parking lots filling up and the two crossings to the bridge that are closed. The village of Emricha is still asleep but a woman who was awake took the bags of clothing that we had brought.  

At 08:00 we drove past Barta'a Checkpoint again. People who work in East Barta'a were still arriving but there was no line.