Northern checkpoints, Tura: Why are bulldozers hanging out in this area?
Where are the bulldozers and what are they doing?
14:00 We passed by Barta’a Checkpoint and drove straight to a T junction of roads 596 and 585 to see whether the military bulldozers are working there as we were told by a Kafeen villager. They were not there and we couldn’t find out whether some earthworks have already been carried out there. We continued south to Hermesh settler-colony. Many new metal poles stand along the road, and on the ones closer to Hermesh itself yellow signs have already been posted warning Israelis against entering Area A. Similar signs were posted long ago close to Ya’abad-Dotan Checkpoint, close to the turnoff to Mevo Dotan settler-colony (our report from April 25, 2018). The sun was in our faces and we couldn’t photograph this
14:15 Ya’abad –Dotan Checkpoint
We pass through Amriha and don’t understand why a tree grove has become an Israeli army firing zone (report of January 27). A school bus of the settler regional council Samaria drives to Mevo Dotan. The traffic at the checkpoint is free at this time.
14:30 Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint, Palestinian side
The seamstresses employed in Barta’a and farm workers are already returning to their homes from work in Israel and in the seam-line zone. A villager of Nazlat Zayed tells us about Border Police activity at the checkpoint (report of January 27) as well as about the presence of a group of religious Jews with their ram’s horn (shofar) amidst the trees opposite Hermesh settler-colony some days ago. We were also told about this group by a villager of Kafeen. The man also spoke of bulldozers that came to the T junction and left. People complain of the need for shelter from rain and sun at the checkpoint. They say the rain enters the fancy new shed. Someone suggests bringing back an old container that stood there before the new shed was completed.
15:00 Toura-Shaked Checkpoint
The checkpoint compound is filthy, the checkpoint itself empty and quiet. The two bulldozers have returned to their usual spot opposite the nearby army base. The third has disappeared (see report of January 17). A firefighter truck is parked in its stead.
15:10 Aneen Agricultural Checkpoint
About twelve farmers and two tractors await passage to Aneen village, next to the open gate. They don’t dare cross it at the soldiers’ absence. Our acquaintance M. tells us there are very few permits now. Many farmers have not been re-issued permits. The Military Policemen arrive and open the gate on time, 15:15. The few fortunate Palestinians cross quickly.
15:25 – crossing is over and we leave.