Barta'a checkpoint: quiet, in Jenin there is great tension

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Tami Ritov (camera), Neta Golan (reporting). Translation: Danah Ezekiel Clark

Because of ongoing works in the parking lots around the Barta’a checkpoint and the revoking of permits to those who park by the red-and-white curb, cars are parking a kilometer away.

15:10 Tura-Shaked checkpoint

There is almost no traffic at this time. A car crosses to the West Bank, another car, with an Israeli license plate, drops off a worker who crosses to the West Bank. A young mother, in a traditional outfit of course, but in high heels, arrives on foot with three elegantly dressed toddlers. They cross to the West Bank.

15:25 Hermesh checkpoint

Lots of flowering Sea Squills, columnar harbingers of fall, on the way. The gate on the road is wide open and the watchtower is unmanned. Little traffic in both directions.

15:40 Ya’abed-Dotan Checkpoint

On the way to the checkpoint, a military vehicle is parked next to the locked gate on the shortcut road to Ya’abed. Another car is parked next to the monument at the foot of the checkpoint. A third car comes to us when we are parked at the intersection leading up to the Mevo Dotan settlement. When we move, he moves too. These vehicles are, perhaps, the only sign of the recent deadly tension in the Jenin governorate.

The guard tower at the checkpoint is manned, traffic flows unhindered in both directions.

16:00 Barta'a-Reihan checkpoint

Cars park on the side of the road that is not painted red and white about a kilometer from the checkpoint, also under the "bridge", in front of the village of Zabde..  People make sure to park only where it is allowed, lest they be denied their transit permits because of a parking violation. The earthworks in the parking lots up the road have not yet been completed. The lower parking lot is completely full and we also don't want to park in red-and-white, so we park on the side of the seam areainfo-icon and go down the sleeveinfo-icon (fenced and covered path) to the terminal along with the masses of people returning from work in Israel and the seam area.

Nimble young people manage to jump over the fence and shorten the way. Then we thread our way back through the descending crowd.

16:30 Prayer mats are waiting for worshipers in the shed. On our way home we join the long line of vehicles that brought workers back from their place of work.