Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan
14:40 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint
The Settlement of Shaked is Expanding. It is cold and stormy. A mother with two children, four cheerful youngsters, a red tractor – all pass through to the West Bank. A car is waiting for a family to come from the West Bank. A boy in red Crocs, with no socks, maneuvers a bike without a tire. He collects discarded plastic bottles from all around the checkpoint, hoping to earn a few shekels in return. In the waiting shed, a bench is broken, and there is a lot of garbage under it.
From here we see the expansion and construction in the settlement of Shaked. A large Israeli flag waves above it. We bypass Barta’a Checkpoint and stop at the Bedouin village of Emricha. It is pouring and mud flows to the road. A small digger is trying to remove the mud from the sides of the road. We enter a grocery store and the friendly owner, a mother of eight, welcomes us with coffee.
A few children enter and enjoy eating wieners in rolls. The language barrier makes our conversation difficult, but still, there’s a smile and a greeting for Shuli.
15:15 – Ya’bed-Dotan Checkpoint
A Fight for Life, Caution on the Roads - The checkpoint isn’t manned and the few cars pass in two directions. A sign says to avoid crossing the white separation line in the road, because “We Fighting for our Lives,” also in Arabic. But there are aspects of life other than caution on the road. The sign next to it points to the settlement of Sa-Nur, which has been evacuated with the Disengagement in August 2005. Someone took pains to erase the name in Arabic.
15:35 – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint (the Palestinian Side)
The New Shed is Saturated by Rain The rain penetrates the new shed through the perforated metal walls. A lot of water accumulates on the floor. A group of seamstresses, who work in the sewing shops in Barta’a, return from work. Smiling as always, they enter a minibus that will take them home to Jenin and the surrounding areas.
16:00 – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint (the Seamline Zone Side) Workers, many of them older, arrive in transport vehicles. They go down the enclosed sleeve (the fenced path to the terminal). On the side of the entrance to the terminal, there is a turnstile and from there they pass quickly to the Palestinian side. The kiosk run by a settler is closed. People will have to return home without packages of rugelach for the weekend. 16:15 – In the parking lot, a transport vehicle next to us is packed with young, laughing girls. They are students at An-Najah University. They are returning home to Barta’a for the weekend. We too return home.