'Anin, Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

Leah Reichman, Tami Rituv (Reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

05:50 – Barta'a Checkpoint

Entrance to the Checkpoint from the Palestinian Side: It appeared that the intense cold had a positive influence upon the speed at which people are checked.  Workers who stood in a long line at the entrance entered and came out again after a short time.  Our Palestinian friend A. reported to us that people entered about 30 at one time. 

At the entrance on the seamline zone side crowds of Palestinians came up the sleeveinfo-icon and went to their transport and rides to work.  Some hurry to the vehicles while others pause to warm up with a cup of coffee and cake at the kiosk.  The first people we met who were the seamstresses who received us with broad smiles as usual.

There were six inspection points operating efficiently in the terminal.  An armed security guard came up to us and asked us to leave, claiming that we could not stand there.  He left and we remained where we were to continue observing.   One of the Palestinians explained that people were crossing quickly despite the fact that the inspectors were more meticulous, and that some workers were therefore being detained in the inspection room for 20 minutes or longer.  This is not an issue of permits, since they have valid permits.  Another person asked us where we had been last Saturday when the line had moved slowly.   

A. explained that his son had been injured at a construction site at the settlement of Tal Menasheh.  He was injured in his thigh by a spike and was hospitalized in Hillel Yaffe Hospital [in Hadera].  The shelter that was put up in the upper parking lot was empty.  Apparently people were being picked up for work quickly because of the cold.  

06:35 – A'anin Checkpoint

We were surprised to see many Palestinians from A'anin waiting for rides at the junction about 200 meters from the checkpoint.  Evidently the soldiers had opened the checkpoint ten minutes early this morning.  Pedestrians and tractors were waiting together, as opposed to the usual order of pedestrians crossing first followed by tractors.  People were in a good mood because the soldiers had been polite and accommodating.  We left at 06:50 and the checkpoint was empty.  The soldiers remained until the official closing time.

07:00 – Tura Shaked Checkpoint

The checkpoint opened on time.  A few pedestrians and vehicles are crossing.  Two soldiers armed with weapons and communicators threw empty pizza boxes and a garbage can into the garbage container at the entrance to the checkpoint, which is overflowing and surrounded by litter.  

We left at 07:20.