Parking shortage at the Barta`a checkpoint at the expense of the drivers

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Shuli Bar and Netta Golan (reporting) Translation: Naomi Halsted

Denied the right to earn a living as punishment for a parking offense (?!)


06:00 Barta’a Reihan checkpoint, Seamline Zone side

Lots of people are arriving and crossing the checkpoint on their way to work in the Seamline Zone and Israel. The transit hut fills up and empties in turn. The Palestinian parking lot is full apart from spots that are reserved and will later be reached by merchants of eastern Barta'a.. The additional parking lots on the slopes below Zabde and opposite the village are closed for earthworks. One of the drivers comes up to us and tells that Charlie, the commander of the checkpoint, has revoked his permit. He's joined by another driver who has also had his permit taken away. It takes us a while to understand what happened: When the main parking lot was full and there were earthworks in the other parking lots, the drivers parked on the side of the road, where red and white lines signal that it’s illegal to park there. These drivers earn their living by transporting workers from the Jenin area and the checkpoint to East Barta’a in the Seamline Zone. They have permits to drive their vehicles through the checkpoint. As a punishment for parking illegally, the commander has confiscated the permits of around 20 drivers for two or three weeks, effectively denying them their income for that time.


06:45 Anin checkpoint

The soldiers guarding the fence are still huddled up in their hut. A civilian vehicle drives up the security road and stops beside us. An officer – a lieutenant – gets out and comes to tell us that we are not allowed to be there. Old permits that were issued to us by the Legal Advisor to the Region of Judea and Samaria and the Army Spokesperson convince him otherwise. He asks us to renew the permits.


A little before 7:00, a military police vehicle arrives and the barrier is opened. A large number of people pass through, as usually happens since the breach in the separation fence was repaired. Many of them wait for a ride at the junction. One man goes back to Anin.


07:20 Tura-Shaked checkpoint

Only a few people pass through at this time. Teenage girls in striped dresses and black hijabs on their heads cross over on their way to school in Tura.

7:30 More teenage girls march along the road leading to the checkpoint on their way to school.

We leave.