Northern checkpoints: The police are following us

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Marina Banai and Ruthi Tuval Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
חמישה שלטי הכוונה בצומת יעבד
אנשים יורדים בריצה במסלול מגודר אל הטרמינל

14:40 – Hermesh Checkpoint and the Turkmen Shepherds’ Community

 The checkpoint was open without any army presence.  We drove along a dirt road to visit the community of Turkmen Shepherds who live in the midst of a flowering field and piles of various types of rubble.  

15:15 – Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint

Here, too, the checkpoint which mars the beautiful landscape, was open.  Some paratroopers climbed down from the pillbox to ask what we were doing there.   We explained to them that we, like them, were attempting to retain some semblance of human dignity as an army of occupation.   First sergeant R., a handsome young man, assured us that they always retain human dignity and that he would read our reports on our website. 

15:35 – Reihan – Barta’a, Seamline Zone Side

We did not find a parking place on the Palestinian side, so we drove up to the parking lot on the seamline zone side.  Workers wearing masks were arriving on foot from the junction.   A tourist bus from the “Dove of Peace” Company.  The driver, who is from Baqa el Gharbiyeh, owns the company.   He travels throughout Israel and describes himself as a peace activist who educates for peace.  Recently  the police have begun to abuse the Palestinian passengers.  They board the bus and fine people for not wearing seat belts or wearing masks improperly.  We received a small gift of tiny bottles of mineral water  from Turkey and a pen.  An armored police car arrived and a policeman shouted to us that we were standing in the road, but that we could take pictures.  They then approached a driver of a private car and checked his documents.  He later told us that they were looking for someone.  


16:15 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

A soldier was sitting in the lookout point rolling a cigarette.  A car on the other side was waiting to cross.  Few people cross at this highly - equipped checkpoint.   The windows in the inspection booth at the center of the checkpoint are broken.  There was no one to ask what happened.  We left and stopped near a young olive grove near the separation fence that had an interesting irrigation system.   The police car arrived, drove around the checkpoint, and left.  

We drove to A’anin Checkpoint to see whether the large hole in the fence was being used on days when the checkpoint is not open for farmers.  No one was crossing there but the police car showed up again.  It left and so did we.