The soldiers arrive promptly at 06:30 and begin to set up.
One soldier invites us to sit inside the checkpoint (we declined), and said that passage would begin at 07:00, and not at 06:30, as we have been told. People coming through confirmed that lately passage has started at 7. The soldier later said that the opening time is only at 07:00. It can also happen – as it has last Thursday – that they forget the key and then it opens only at 08:30.
Few pedestrians and few vehicles pass. All pass without delay, yet passage is rather slow.
The fields are cleared of tobacco plants, the last quills] are in flower: autumn.
07:35-08:00. Barta’a – Reihan checkpoint
The upper parking lots are completely full. We went inside and found a new (to us) toilet facility, which is still locked, and a new shed, which function is unclear.
There is heavy movement. In the terminal 3 windows are open and there is a queue behind them. Some people who passed said, “a rotten checkpoint.” Two people stood at a window and presented identity cards, but were not allowed to proceed. We did not see them returning to the West Bank. Traffic seemed to flow. We could not measure the time it took to pass, but it seemed long today.
On our way back, we were approached by a man married to a Jordanian woman. They have been waiting 5 years for her to get a Palestinian identity card. They have presented all the necessary documentation, both to the Palestinian Authority and to the Israeli Ministry of the Interior. But until they get a response from the Ministry of the Interior they cannot proceed. We took down their details and would try to make inquiries.