15.45. Barta’a – Reihan checkpoint
Ramadan is well in evidence: The parking lots are not full as usual at this hour. Small groups of young folk return from work. Apparently most workers returned earlier. We met S., known as ‘the Bedouin.’ We had not seen him a long while and he seems to have lost his happy spirit. One of his two wives has cancer and is being treated at Sheba hospital. He has 21 children, only two of them working. But he does not complain about income, and as usual, asks us to bring him television. We met also ‘A, a dignified-looking contractor whose entry permit was recently cancelled – according to him, because of libel on the part of competitors. He is trying to get a farmer’s permit.
Some distance away from the checkpoint we bought from peddlers who came from afar – watermelons, radishes, olives.
16.35. Tura – Shaked checkpoint
This equipped checkpoint is sleepy, as usual. One car passes to the W. Bank without delay – the driver seems to have stopped just to say hello. Another car arrives from the W. Bank, collecting a woman who has been waiting for it at the edge of the sleeve.
We enter the nearby village Daher el Malec to investigate the matter of its electricity supply. One of its inhabitants claimed last week that supply was being withheld until they recalled their demand to have their lands returned to them. Two men take us to the village Head who says this is untrue, and in a few days electricity will be connected to the village. We will, of course, continue to check.