North, Tura: Why are they laughing?  Aren’t I a person?

Observers: 
Rachel Weizman, Ruti Tuval (Reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
23/06/2019
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Afternoon

 

14:55 – Hermesh Checkpoint

The checkpoint was quiet and a soldier observed us from the pillbox.

15:05 – Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint

Cars were driving through without being detained.

15:25 Barta’a – Reihan Checkpoint

The parking lot on the Palestinian side was completely full.  We went to see if the irritating dirt barricade between the back parking lot and the far parking lot on the hill was still standing.   To our surprise it had been removed, and it is now possible to drive from the western side to the checkpoint.  One of the drivers told us that they had succeeded in getting the barrier removed by taking the issue to court.

16:15 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint – The Checkpoint was

While this report was being written Kassem called from Arakeh, our old informer from Tura Checkpoint.  He had returned to Um A Reihan in the seamline zone at 15:14 with a box of glass plates and cups that he had received as a gift.  He reported that he had lugged the box “Like a donkey on foot.” 

The soldier at the checkpoint demanded that he put the box through the X-Ray machine.  Kassem told him that the box was liable to fall from the end of the conveyer belt and that everything would be broken, and when that happened, the soldier burst out laughing. 

Kassem asked: “Why are they laughing?  Aren’t I a person?”  The soldier continued to harass him and asked what the dust was on his hands and shoes, where had he been and what had he been doing?  “You can’t go to Um A Reihan.  I’ll confiscate your license.”

The soldier took his crossing permit for several minutes and eventually returned it. 

Kassem explained: “I told the soldier that at my age I’m permitted to go wherever I want and it’s shameful that he is talking disrespectfully to a person who is old enough to be his father.  He added: “There was not a single cup that was not broken.  Isn’t it enough that they took 53 dunams (13 acres) of land for the separation barrier?”