06.25-06.55. Turah – Shaked checkpoint.
In the past month since we were last here the tobacco plants have grown in te fields and they are now in bloom; the piles of refuse all around have also grown. The checkpoint did not open in time at 6.30, the soldiers arriving only at 6.40. But they organized quickly and already at 6.50 the first Palestinian emerged from the checkpoint opening into the seamline zone.
On average the numbers passing (pedestrians and vehicles) were greater than in the most recent previous watches of ours, but smaller than in the past.
07.05-07.30. Barta’a – Reihan checkpoint.
Here the traffic is at a peak: groups of workers who came from the West Bank and passed in the terminal come up towards us to their transport vehicles to work. Particularly noticeable are two groups of women and two individual women. Usually we do not meet groups of women but today, coming early, we managed to meet the group of seamstresses and the women who set out early to work on Shabbat. We measured 8-15 minutes for people to pass. Passage seemed to be smooth, without delays. In the terminal 4 checking windows were open and when we left there were no longer any lines in front of them.
While we were still wondering if there had been an improvement in the state of “refused permits,” because no one had approached us about this issue – behold suddenly a man came, asking for help in cancelling his ‘refused’ status. Of course he received “Sylvia’s note.” According to the number of those passing and the few who turn to us for help, we do get the impression that there has been an improvement – but this is an impression only, not based on any solid facts.