A heavy fog. The checkpoint is still closed. With difficulty, it is possible to see through the fog, a number of people waiting on the W.Bank side of the carousel. The soldiers arrived at 7.05 [?] and begin the opening process. Now it transpires that there is not electricity and so they can’t operate the checking room and the vehicles checkpoint. Meanwhile, a few dozen people as well as some cars collect on the W.Bank side.
07.20. The soldiers begin passing pedestrians by manual checking. The first person exits at 7.20, but passage is quick. On the other hand, they do not allow vehicles to pass, although it is possible to raise the barrier manually – as they did for a horse and wagon.
People who came through said that the vehicle checkpoint coming from Turah is open. We contacted the office – they answered quickly and politely and said they would contact the soldiers in the field and check. Time passes, more vehicles arrive on both sides, and all wait. At 7.40 we phoned again – “The matter is being dealt with.” The woman soldier at the other end of the line argues, tries to explain that the soldiers know what they are doing. Nevertheless she will ask that they will get instructions. According to her, they cannot pass vehicles if there is no electricity, because they have to look in the eyes of the driver, in order to decide that he is indeed entitled to pass … In other words, it does not seem logical to her that a soldier should hold up the barrier. (Perhaps it would be possible to tie it up to the neighbouring pole?)
At 8 o’clock the brilliant solution is found: the checkpoint is closed to vehicles. The soldiers closed the gates to the vehicle checkpoint and sent off the cars that were still waiting. Is this the “Israeli initiative” that we are so proud of? We left.
08.10-08.30. Barta’ah – Rehan checkpoint.We arrived late at Barta’ah, the main wave had already passed through. The upper parking lots were almost empty of transports. In the terminal two windows were open and passage was quick. We delivered 4 instruction slips from Sylvia to people who asked for help in solving problems of permit cancellations.08.45. Turah –Shaked checkpoint. On the way back we again entered the Turah-Shaked checkpoint to check on the situation of cars. The checkpoint was still closed to vehicles. We again phoned – they promised that they were doing their best to solve the problem. What a shame that this is the best that IDF soldiers can do (3 girls and a boy).
It is important to remember that it is the olive harvest season. People are setting out for a day’s work, accompanied by women and children. They need the car that is waiting behind for the heavier harvest equipment.