Northern checkpoints: Thanks to breach in the separation fence, work begins early
We arrived from the direction of Harish. We are amazed to observe how this city has grown, especially after we learned that it is tolerant and willing to absorb many excluded population groups. The trees are growing and promise to provide shade perhaps by next summer. The main street is already crowded and it was difficult to find a place to park. We later learned that the residents are plagued each morning by traffic jams when they leave for work.
15:30 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
The checkpoint was quiet and filthy as usual. Last week we were in contact with the Ministry of Security regarding the maintenance of the seamline zone area. We had a three – way phone call two days later with a sub- contractor from the village of Salem who knows about the litter at the checkpoint but he is not sure that he is responsible. He is responsible for the dirt road along the separation barrier and is not familiar with the term “seamline zone”. We are not sure whether he holes in the barrier amused him. We will see what happened. At the checkpoint itself a car was waiting patiently to cross while a female soldier leisurely served a drink to the soldier in position on the concrete barrier. They conducted things slowly until we approached and asked them just how long they planned to delay. Finally the car was allowed to cross and several others crossed to the West Bank without delay.
15:55 – We drove by Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint. The long sleeve was filled with workers returning home and the parking lot on the Palestinian side was full.
16:05 – Ya`abed Dotan Checkpoint
Cars were crossing here without delay and driving slowly through the concrete barriers. Drivers waved to us in greeting, smiled and asked how we were doing and if we needed help, including a settler from Mevo Dotan.
16:30 Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side
Many workers were returning home. Most looked pleased. Some were carrying presents for their children. Most, but not all, were managing well and had done their day’s work. One person received a permit to enter Israel for five days to look for work in Israel found a certified contractor who was willing to hire him, but he has no permit to work in Israel. Will the contractor wait until he gets a permit? Meanwhile we gave him Sylvia’s phone number and wished him luck. We also met one of the seamstresses from Barta’a whom we had not seen for a long time. We told her “We haven’t seen you for a long time” and gestured, and we hugged her excitedly despite COVID-19.