15:10 – Tura Checkpoint
On our way to the checkpoint, next to Umm-al Fahm, we saw two full buses coming from the direction of the Seamline Zone. As we got closer to the checkpoint, we saw many women, and a few men and children, with picnic baskets, walking to the prayer corner by the side of the road. From there the buses left for evening prayer at Al Aksa Mosque in Jerusalem. When we asked about the small number of men, we were told that men don’t have permits to leave from the Seamline Zone. The women say that “the army can’t do anything about buses filled with women,” so they travel securely. The men are more suspect.
Another couple left the checkpoint to visit relatives in the Seamline Zone. A few cars with passengers cross in two directions; the passage is quick.
15:45 – Barta’a Checkpoint
Here, too, there is a commotion in the upper parking lot. Two buses, and many people—mostly women—are preparing to travel to Al Aksa Mosque. The young people with whom I spoke, told me they were leaving without permits.
Dozens of workers from Israel and the Seamline Zone arrive; most are young people on their way home to the West Bank. Several people arrive at Barta’a with packages of food from Jenin.
On the way from the checkpoint, we see lots of cars are parked near the breaches in the separation fence, next to the alternative “checkpoint.”