Soldier at the filthy Tura checkpoint: This is not our garbage
North, 29.06.2021 Morning
Ruthi Tuval and Marina Banai, Reporting and Observing, Marina Banai (photos)
Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham
06:15 – We drove past the junction at the entrance to East Barta’a on Route 611. There were many workers crossing and sitting by the side of the road waiting for their rides to work and hoping for a day’s work. There were many yellow taxis standing by. Evidently the alternate crossing is still active.
We parked on the Palestinian side of Barta’a Checkpoint. We were pleased to meet our old friend B. who had worked in the Shahak Industrial Zone for many years. The carpet factory where he worked was moved to Jordan and he was offered a job there but turned it down because of COVID-19. Instead he now works as a warehouse manager in a factory at the same location that imports synthetic fertilizer from China.
The parking lot was very dirty but we were told not to worry because a cleaning worker would arrive at 07:00. This is something new in the parking lot. There are now subscription parking places available on a weekly basis. There is a red booth next to the entrance and exit to the parking lot that looks like a shiny red kiosk. We left two packages with the security guard for N., the driver who would arrive that afternoon.
07:10 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint
It was quiet and there was only light traffic. The surrounding fields were well – tended. We drove up a new white side road that was made of chalk stone that ran through the tobacco fields. The road lead to the wadi (riverbed) that runs between Mevo Dotan A and B. Two young men wearing hoodies were hoeing the weeds in the fields.
We returned to Barta’a Checkpoint. Trucks were driving in our lane towards the inspection booth because a vehicle was blocking the truck lane.
08:00 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
People were beginning to pick tobacco near the checkpoint from the bottom up. Two vehicles were waiting at the red light to cross. A woman soldier was stationed in the concrete observation point. Her rifle was pointed forward but she was falling asleep. A soldier denied our accusation that their garbage was scattered along both sides of the road. We removed a sheet of paper from the District Coordination and Liaison Office with names of Palestinians printed on it, but they claimed that the paper had simply blown away and that they take their garbage away with them to the base.