05.55. Barta’a checkpoint. The upper parking-lot is full of cars and workers, and many come out of the terminal. One tells us “today the checkpoint is fine.” A worker whose permit has not been renewed asks for help. As we give him the slip with Sylvia’s details, more and more hands reach out for copies. At the entrance to the terminal from the Palestinian parking lot there is no queue, and everyone enters immediately. Inside 5 windows are open and passage is quick. A young man from Arabah tells us that many young folk from his village do not have their permits renewed and they are not told the reason for the refusal.
06.45. Turah checkpoint. The gates are open but the checkpoint is not yet active. Two cars wait on the seamline-zone side, and at least 10 on the West Bank side. From the checkpoint area we hear shouting in Hebrew and sounds of weapons, mixed with music from the waiting cars.
06.50. The checkpoint starts working. All the (about) 40 people waiting are allowed in at one go, but the first emerges only at 7.05. They say there is a computer problem. The cars start moving in both directions at 7.10, quickly. 20 cars pass to the seamline zone. The people coming out tell us that the soldiers arrived only at 6.40, and complain that they will arrive late to work today and that we “don’t help them and they suffer.”
A merchant from Daher el Malec tells us that until 3 months ago he would transport to the Barta’a market pigeons and chickens that are not grown in coops. Now he is not permitted to do so and he has no income.
07.35. Not all the workers have passed, but we leave.