Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Marina Banai (reporting). Photos: Ruthi Tuval. Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

We drove past Barta’a and saw that the parking lots were full but people no longer parked alongside the road, due to the heavy fines imposed recently. We drove on to Hermesh and Dotan Checkpoints. Cars were crossing freely through both checkpoints. Wildflowers were in full bloom and the Dotan Valley was covered in carpets of white anemones.

16:30 – Barta’a Palestinian Side

We parked our car and were immediately approached by children selling coffee for a Shekel a cup. We gave them five Shekels. People complained that between 05:00 and 07:00 it takes a long time to cross – 20 to 30 minutes. They complained that during those hours only one of the four automatic lanes is working,  and that causes a backup at the entrance to the seamline zone. We were urged to come in the morning to see for ourselves.

A young man approached us, who needs to change his crossing hours from 07:00 to 06:00. He works in Hadera selling junk and needs to be there early in the morning.

Another young man who works in security on the Palestinian side asked for help in entering Israel. We referred him to Sylvia.

When we left the checkpoint a security guard checked our trunk wearing rubber gloves (possibly due to Coronavirus precautions).

17:20 – Tura Checkpoint

We arrived at Tura to see an amazing sight: A herd of goats, kids, and a few sheep, driven by an old woman and young man. They were attempting to bring the herd across to sell the animalsinfo-icon on the Palestinian side. The herd did not receive the necessary permits and they were forced to return with it to their village of Um-Reihan, in the seamline zone.

We returned home at 17:40.