North checkpoints, Soldier: Watch Women? Why Didn't You Say From The Beginning

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Marina Banai and Ruti Tuval, Tal translating


15:10 Barta’a Checkpoint
We crossed the checkpoint. The car-parks on the Palestinian side are full to bursting.

15:20 Yaabad-Dotan Checkpoint

We waited for A., “Mary’s father”, at the junction – he wanted to give us olive oil produced by his family. Suddenly a car stopped next to us, coming from Mevo Dotan settler-colony: “What are you doing? You are not allowed here”. “And you?” “I live here. Do you want me to spit on you, you beast? I am going to summon Moti (probably the security official)”. So we hastened to shut our window and he drove off.

At the checkpoint – cars being inspected by soldiers wearing helmets with cameras. Waiting lines form on both sides of the checkpoint. During our meeting with A. we suddenly heard a loud boom. An accident. People witnessing it said that a settler-colonist suddenly overtook a whole line of cars whose drivers were patiently waiting to cross the checkpoint, a truck coming in the opposite direction had to slam its brakes and a small van driving behind it crashed into it from the back. The settler-colonist, who no doubt heard the boom, wildly cut to the right towards Mevo Dotan and flew off. They claim that the surveillance cameras on site would verify what they said. Later the young driver who was hit was picked up by a Palestinian ambulance. We naturally walked around and to the soldier who asked what we were doing there, said smiling: “Checkpoint vigil. Just like you…” “Don’t joke with me” answered the cute soldier.

At 4 p.m. we remembered that we must hurry off to Anin checkpoint. At Barta’a our boot was checked. “Watch women? Why didn’t you say so to begin with?”

16:20 Anin Checkpoint

No one near the gate. Soldier still wait for the last workers to cross. At 16:25 a few farmers walk the road down to the checkpoint.

16:30 Toura-Shaked Checkpoint

As usual – quiet and filthy. A worker returning from his day’s work at Shahak Industrial Park tells us that this morning the checkpoint was opened at 7:30. An hour late! In fact the army has long since stopped opening it at 6:30 and we should do something about it.

At 16:45 road lights are suddenly turned on opposite the hamlet of Khirbet Al Ra’adiya, that is not yet on the electricity grid…

16:50 Barta’a-Reihan, seamline zone side

Numerous workers going home, in a good mood. They are fortunate, having earned their daily bread and greet us gladly.