7:25 – 7:40 Tura Shaked Checkpoint
On our way to the checkpoint we saw many laborers who had already passed through, sitting along the sides of the road leading to the seam zone, waiting. At the checkpoint itself no one was waiting by the carousel and the few pedestrians and cars we saw passed through without delay. We accordingly assumed that the checkpoint had opened on time and without delays, and that in order to meet those passing through we had better come earlier.
7:50 – 8:30 Barta'a Riehan Checkpoint
Here the traffic is at its peak – many people are sitting along the side of the seam zone, waiting for their shared rides to work, and the parking lot is full. It seems that today there are especially great numbers crossing through. Many are still making their way into the terminal, crowded in the terminal and on their way out of it. We timed passage of one person at 15 minutes.
Next to the restrooms they’ve set up some kind of low, wide sink with several faucets, but its purpose is unclear. On the other hand, the cooler near the exit from the checkpoint isn’t working. Those passing are gracious and friendly as always, and today no one approached us asking for help with transit permits – could it be that things have improved?
In the parking lot, on the way to the exit, we met Amjad and his daughter Mary on their way to a physical therapy appointment in Umm al-Fahm. Her big sister, who had a serious fall, is already home, but she’s expected to need many more month of rehabilitation.