15:30 – Tura Checkpoint
The checkpoint is quiet and the soldiers are bored. Three cars with passengers cross to the West Bank uneventfully. Two families return in a vehicle from shopping in the large city of Jenin and pass through immediately; most of the people are wearing masks. For now, they are not continuing with the electrical work at the checkpoint; however, construction at the settlement of Shaked, next to the checkpoint, is advancing vigorously. We spoke with one of those returning from Jenin, who told us that the checkpoint was returning to its previous condition (before the coronavirus), but we did not meet any people returning to the West Bank from work in the Seamline Zone.
Barta’a Checkpoint, the Seamline Zone side
Groups of workers return home to the West Bank from work in Israel and the Seamline Zone. The kiosk in the sleeve ( the enclosed passage to and from the terminal) was functioning again, and the returning workers were carrying supplies of fresh rugelach for the Sabbath. (The sleeve is the enclosed passage to and from the terminal.) Families with children pass through in both directions.
There are rumors that as of next Sunday, workers who pass through to work in Israel will not be allowed to return for three weeks. It is not clear which side directed this—Israel or the Palestinian Authority. The civilian security guard who works at the checkpoint had heard about this, but he admitted that sometimes they are the last to receive the notices.
The building of the addition to the sleeve (another 100 meters) is almost complete. The guard said that the older people would be able to pass through the vehicle checkpoint, where they can avoid the long trek through the sleeve.
The new sleeve is already covered and it reaches the shed at the corner of the lot. In the future, for reasons of security, pick up and drop off of passengers will be there only. The annexation is crawling along and it appears this will be an entry point of the new border. In the meantime, it is possible to enter the side door of the previous place.