05:15 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint
North, 31.07.2016 MorningThe checkpoint opened at 05:00. Workers who arrived from the Palestinian Authority are waiting outside, on the seamline zone side, for their transportation to work. There is a constant stream of people who have already been checked coming out of the terminal.
05:17 – We drove down to the Palestinian parking lot, where the entrance to the inspection facility is. The parking lot was not full, so I suggested that we park near the entrance where people get out of cars. This was a mistake. At this hour the line to cross does not reach the entrance to the parking lot. People stood quietly and talked. Every three minutes or so the turnstile opened and about 100 people went in.
At 05:30 women came and entered immediately through the second turnstile. Workers who have valid magnetic cards and permits are sent back under the pretext that something is wrong. One agricultural worker, who has been working in for the same employer for more than eight months, is suddenly prevented from going to work. His employer sent another request to the Liaison and Coordination Administration, he worked for two days, and today once again he was prevented from going to work.
We met Iyad, who has been volunteering to keep order in the line for several months. He took on this job because he could no longer stand the violent behavior of pushing and quarrelling every morning.
06:10 – We returned to our car and found that it had been blocked in, as Karin had feared. She managed to get out with the help of a friendly Palestinian.
06:20 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
Of course, there was no one on the seamline zone side of the checkpoint. People and cars were already waiting at the entrance to the checkpoint on the Palestinian side. At 06:30 an officer and a soldier arrived and the officer turned on the generator. The soldiers arrived slowly, and the generator went off and on again. At 06:45 the first Palestinian and a car crossed.
People come out slowly, one by one. One of the Palestinians told us that he usually arrives at the checkpoint at 04:00 and waits far from the gate, because the soldiers don't permit them to get close. They make a list of the people who are waiting, in an attempt to keep order, but when the soldiers are late, and people are late for work, quarrels break out. People's rides are waiting outside and eventually everyone leaves for work.
At 07:10 there were still about 20 people waiting to go in. We left.