'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked
14:50 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
The checkpoint was quiet and empty as usual at this hour of the day, and no one was crossing. The garbage container was overflowing and the area surrounding the checkpoint was filthy.
We drove past Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint with its crowded parking lots, on our way to Yaabed Checkpoint. We passed the bridge opposite Zibda where the gates were locked and several cars were parked in back of the bridge. A sign read: “The last villas in Samaria for sale.” The road that crosses through Emricha was covered with mud and rocks from the heavy rain. The yellow gate leading to Yaabed was locked as usual.
15:10 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint
To our surprise, the checkpoint was manned. There were several army vehicles parked nearby and a soldier was standing on one of the concrete barriers. An orderly line of Palestinian cars had formed, despite the fact that we didn’t see cars being detained for inspection.
15:30 – Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side
The parking lot was still full at this time of day, and many workers were returning home from work and taxi drivers were calling “Jenin, Jenin!” People were trying to earn a living by selling pastries, snacks, and soft drinks from the trunks of their cars. Two young boys were selling coffee from a thermos bottle. We wondered whether they had gone to school in the morning.
Hailstones were piled up at the corners along the road and in the parking lot and drivers told us that heavy hail had fallen at 10:00 that morning. One of the drivers collected some and asked us to take his picture. With all the difficulties these people have, adults still enjoy the white stuff, like children.
We left at 16:00. Luckily, no more hail came down on the way back.