Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

Observers: 
Rachela Hayut, Ruthi Tuval (reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
Aug-23-2016
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Morning

05:20 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

The line reaches only as far as the center of the parking lot and surprisingly order prevails under the supervision of the Palestinian supervisors in their black uniforms.  The parking lot is filling up.  Groups of 100 people pass through the turnstile every two minutes.  Several women pass through immediately through the other turnstile.

06:05 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint

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A blocked dirt road at Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint

The soldiers are present, but they are in the watchtower and traffic moves through without delay.  The area around the tower is surrounded by a high wall.  A soldier in the tower told us politely that there are soldiers in the area below and that the wall is there to protect them against Molotov cocktails.  The only area that can be crossed is the road.  There is an unpaved road running alongside blocked by a dirt embankment that is only used by the army.   A small commercial vehicle that arrived from Jenin stops next to us.  It is driven by an old and cheerful friend of ours who works at the carpet factory in the area of the settlement of Shaked.

When we returned to Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint we saw A on the bridge leading to Zibda next to his motorbike, which has been converted into a portable coffee vendor.  He had sold coffee in the lower parking lot for two weeks but was forced to leave to make way for the Jewish coffee vendor.  Now he is trying to make a living here next to the parking lots where some of the Palestinians coming to the checkpoint prefer to park.  We had coffee together with other clients and it was encouraging to see his optimism despite his poor health.    
The trunk of our car was checked when we left for the seamline zone.

07:05 – Tura Shaked Checkpoint

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A cow wandering in the area of Tura Checkpoint

 

According to people the checkpoint opened a half hour ago on time, but people are crossing slowly.   "Only ten people have crossed so far."   R., who usually brings leftover food from party venues in Um Al Fahem to needy people in Tura, explained that last Saturday he was not permitted to bring the boxes of food through the checkpoint because it was cooked food.  He was forced to drive around and bring it through another checkpoint further away.  

We left at 07:20 when we saw that everyone who had been waiting had already crossed.

 

We drove to the site of M.'s marble cutting factory in Barta'a that had been demolished by the IDF.   We saw the new site where he plans to build another factory and permitted us to report that he had received financial help from various sources.   Merchants who provide marble from Turkey evidently donated a significant amount of money so that he can continue to work with them and an Israeli client also contributed money so that he could purchase new equipment.   As we reported, some of the equipment was destroyed and some was confiscated.   Rachela, who is also active in Yesh Din (Volunteers for Human Rights) will try and find out what happened to the confiscated equipment and if it can be returned. 

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A car stuck among the ruins