06.00 Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint.
A double line of about 500 people stretches from the end of the parking lot to the turnstiles. We are told that the turnstiles have been closed for a quarter of an hour. Till now they have allowed in a number of people and halted for long periods .Along the line of workers are six Palestinian security men, all in uniform, armed with batons. All are young and polite and competently keep order. Men who try to jump the queue are shown the way to the back of the line – “go back.”
06.06 The turnstiles open and 20 workers enter, Leah stands at the head of the line, checking the numbers. From this moment things move faster, more people are admitted and the intervals lessen to a couple of minutes, without delays.
In conversation with the Palestinian security men:They brought us here to ensure order at the checkpoint, in co-ordination with Barta’a East council and the governor of Jenin and the occupation authorities. They arrive each morning from 05.00 till 17.00. Is there similar recruitment elsewhere? They don’t know.
06.30 Passage is quick but workers continue to arrive. About over 3,000 people cross each morning.Few go out in the direction of the West Bank, most of them workers on night shift in settlement workshops.
06.50 The line gets shorter, although there are still groups and individuals arriving. They enter after a short wait.
A driver shows us a traffic report demanding payment of a 1,000 shekel fine, or for him to stand trial at Beth E. The man was caught when a small car was in his car without a safety seat, near Azariah. My heart melts with emotion at the sincere care that Israeli police show towards the safety of Palestinians.