Barta'a-Rihan, Tora-Shaked, Ya'bad-Dotan
14:50 – We drove past Barta’a Reihan Checkpoint and saw that the parking lots were less crowded than they usually were during the past few weeks. We later learned that there was a closure because of the Purim holiday.
15:00 – Ya’abed Dotan Checkpoint
We saw a soldier from far off standing behind the concrete blocks with his weapon pointed towards the middle of the checkpoint. He was guarding a policeman who was enforcing Israeli traffic regulations in a place where there are usually other regulations. There is a 250 Shekel fine for not wearing a seat belt. The policeman, who speaks Arabic, thinks he is working for their benefit. The side road that was opened recently has been closed once again for this activity. The cars that cross here with Israeli license plates belong to Israeli Arab citizens (a term which I hope is politically correct). This issue has bothered us for some time. There is a red sign that warns against Israelis traveling to Area A.
15:30 – Barta’a – Reihan Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side
Workers were beginning to arrive on their way to the West Bank. We learned that there were fewer workers today because of the Purim holiday closure. We did not ask them why they were working today despite the closure. We learned later that four women and two children who arrived from the seamline zone did not know that they had to go to the northern end of the new sleeve. They walked south and found that the gate to the sleeve was locked, and were forced to walk back along the entire length of the sleeve.
16:00 – Tura Shaked Checkpoint
We could hear the Muezzin from Tura that was especially loud. Aside from that everything was as usual. The checkpoint was empty and dirty.