Northern Checkpoints, Barta’a: On the face of it, everything is wonderful, but the reality is gloomy, with no change
15:50 – 16:45
15:45 – Tura Checkpoint
Few workers return from the Seamline Zone to the West Bank. One car, from Umm Reihan, waits for students who arrive from the university in Shechem. They leave every day to study there. The mother who is waiting tells us that at the American university in Jenin, many Israelis also learn nursing.
16:05 – Barta’a Checkpoint
The checkpoint is bustling with life. Many groups of workers return from work in the Seamline Zone, but primarily from Israel. The workers return to the checkpoint from Hadera, Caesaria, and from Harish, close to the checkpoint, but most of them leave for work in the morning from the distant Jalama (Gilboa) or Tayibe (Efraim Gate). Even the kiosk at the checkpoint is open in the afternoon for the comfort of the increased number of those passing through, and according to the owner of the kiosk, the number who have permits has increased lately. Students with suitcases return home for the weekend--in Israel and in Barta’a.
Summer is felt and families with children who are on vacation, pass in two directions. At present, it is possible to be mistaken and think that we are in a normal border crossing: two singers from the West Bank pass to Akko to sing at a wedding; a large group of women, young boys and girls dressed for celebration, pass from Kafin to a family wedding in Barta’a. But the long, enclosed “sleeve” covered with barbed wire brings us quickly to the gloomy reality of the checkpoint and of the policies of the arbitrary permits.