Northern Checkpoint, Barta`a : What happened to the masses of anxious Palestinians rushing to work?
Barta’a checkpoint: What’s good for the Palestinians is bad for the occupation
At the Barta’a checkpoint, the largest and most sophisticated among the checkpoints in the northwestern West Bank, during the height of rush hour between five and six in the morning, the cage-like crossing installation, which cost a lot of money and took a long time to build, is no longer really necessary. Two or three windows in the terminal (of the 8-12 that are there) are sufficient to inspect crossing permits. The Palestinian parking attendants no longer make as much money from parking cars. What happened to the masses of anxious Palestinians rushing to work? They’ve evaporated.
The head of the northern DCL at Salem boasted he’s responsible for the change. How? He simply reduced the number of people entitled to cross through here to work in Israel. He simply forced them to use other crossings, farther from their homes or from their jobs in Israel.
For a brief period, thousands crossed here every morning and benefited, in a relative sense, from the upgraded checkpoint. For a brief period, it seemed the occupation was making an effort to ease their crossing to work in Harish City, to the Barta’a area. But it must have been too good for the Palestinians, so it was bad for the occupation.