At Tura c.p weekend starts in Thurthday
06:00 – Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint
Many people were waiting for their rides in the parking lot on the seamline zone side. Most were sitting on the sides of the road or standing and waiting and more people continued to come up the sleeve.
We were surprised to find that on the Palestinian side there was no waiting line and the parking lot was not full. People continued to arrive by car and on foot and entered immediately. The Palestinian attendants spoke to us through a translator and explained that each morning 3,500 to 4,000 people arrive at the checkpoint. There are no fewer people today, but in the past few days things are running smoothly and quickly. They also told us that the parking lot fills up when taxis arrive to take people home from work. An elderly man who spoke fluent Hebrew explained that the checkpoint is not crowded because when things run smoothly people don't need to arrive two hours beforehand. He worked for 31 years in Israel with a building contractor who is now building in Eilat, but his permit does not include Eilat. He is now waiting for a ride to his job in Ara.
The prayer corner under the awning has not yet been completed. There are no partitions: only rugs and a mattress. Someone informed us that the checkpoint managers have not permitted them to put up partitions.
Photo: The prayer corner at Barta'a Checkpoint. It is not permitted to build partitions. Photo: Neta Golan
06:30 – A'anin Checkpoint
The soldiers arrived together with us and opened the checkpoint and the first person crossed ten minutes later at 06:40. People crossed quickly and about 50 people and 5 tractors crossed. We did not wait for the checkpoint to close.
07:00 Tura Shaked Checkpoint
The checkpoint was not opened until 07:00. We don't understand the extended weekend at this checkpoint. When everything is "as it should be" it is supposed to open on Sunday – Wednesday at 06:30 and at 06:30 and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday it is supposed to open at 07:00. Why? Are they not aware that this is a regular work day? A group of women crossed who work in a sewing factory in the Shahak industrial zone. Here, too, people crossed quickly.
At 07:20 school children begin to arrive who live in the seamline zone and who go to school in the Palestinian village of Tura – on the other side of the checkpoint. The children who live in the isolated house that is cut off from the village of Tura by the separation barrier cannot cross through the short route and have to take the dirt road around to the crossing point.
07:40 – Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side
We returned to Barta'a Reihan Checkpoint to take ad father and his son to Rambam Hospital as part of the "Road to Recovery" organization. The father, who lives in the village of Kafin, also noted that they had crossed quickly. There are now only a few people waiting for rides. Taxis are waiting for people who will cross at 08:00 who work in the garages and stores in Barta'a.