Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
5:50 – 7:50
5:50 Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint
The upper car park is nearly full. Many workers and transport vehicles crowd on the road, its margins and crossings. We cross the checkpoint compound and to our surprise - find a very short waiting line at the terminal entrance. We proceed to Yaabad Checkpoint.
6:05 Yaabad-Mevo Dotan Checkpoint
Passage is free of inspection but the cars must proceed in what seems a very clumsy dance among the deep cracks. They have to slow down to such an extent that occasionally waiting lines of vehicles are formed, especially those filled with passengers to Barta’a Checkpoint on their way to work, and empty vehicles returning from the checkpoint. Everyone complains of this trouble that delays them and damages their cars. A Palestinian ambulance arriving at high speed from Yaabad must also greatly slow down.
6:35 Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint
The Palestinian ambulance is now on its way back from the checkpoint. As usual we park on the road at the entrance to the car park. The curb is painted red-white. One of the responsible personnel, a Palestinian, asks us to move off, for our own good, because the police hands out parking tickets. For some reason there is a relatively large group of Palestinian watchmen at this car park, and at first they do not let us and others park there although there are vacancies. Finally we are allowed to do so for we are only to stay there for about 10 minutes. Workers are still arriving and entering right away. At 6:40 a small waiting line forms for some moments. Someone approaches us requesting we help him remove the ‘denied entry’ status forced on him 10 years ago. He doesn’t know the reason for it. He has never been arrested, and does not even have some distant relative sitting in prison. Eliya will look into this matter.
7:00 Toura-Shaked Checkpoint
Several dozen people crowd near the turnstile. Shouts are heard. This morning the men exit holding their belts in their hands. They all complain that the inspection took a long time. We look for a closer observation point inside the olive tree grove. Loud shouts are heard in Hebrew: “We too are human beings. Get to work, let us pass”. We return to the gate, enter, and one of the soldiers tells us that there’s pressure today. That’s it. At least he doesn’t chase us off, as some other soldiers have in the past. An old acquaintance of ours comes out at 7:45. “It was I who shouted”, he says. “I’ve been here since 6:30”. The cars, on the other hand, cross swiftly, noted manually by the soldiers. Children, all ages, cross the checkpoint as usual on their way to school.