Tura checkpoint: The breaches are doing well. 'Working people do not carry out terrorist attacks'

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Ruti Tuval and Marina Banai Translation: Naomi Halsted



Everything is humming along at all the checkpoints as well as the breaches in the fence. Everyone is feeling good for some reason. In any case, our shift comprised three meetings.

At Emricha, we met S., “the Bedouin.” He sent his son out to the main road to direct us to him with the bags of clothes we were bringing (a gift from a friend from Kibbutz Yagur). He himself doesn’t work, but he tends the small chicken coop next to his home. His sons work. One works for a butcher in western Bak’a. He’s doing OK, hamdallilah (thank God). The children are home because of Covid.

At the Tura-Shaked checkpoint, we sat in the car and watched things carry on quietly. Cars come and go. And people go from one side to the other, as if that’s the way of the world: you visit relatives or go to the shops in the local town via a checkpoint manned by soldiers. Two of them, a man and a woman, kitted out from head-to-toe, approach us. The name Taoz regiment is emblazoned on their uniforms. After we’ve introduced ourselves, the female soldier introduces themselves as “fighters of the crossings,” military police. Their base is on the other side of the Barta’a checkpoint (“Reihan crossing,” as she calls it), which we visited last week. The term “fighters of the crossings” is new to us, but it is there to be seen on the internet.

From there, we drove to check out the checkpoint by-pass, which Hannah reported on last week. We got there via the olive groves and fields of cloves and groundsel to the T-junction: On the left, the isolated house (cut off from Tura by the fence); on the right, the road leading towards the separation fence, partially blocked by a rock. The driver of a pick-up truck carrying a passenger managed to get past it. A worker from Ya’bed who had walked all the way here from the road tells us in good Hebrew (he’s worked in Israel for 22 years) that he’s come from his place of work in the Shahak (Shaked-Hinanit-Katzir) industrial park. His car is on the other side of the fence (he can’t cross the fence in the car) and this is the third time he’s crossed here. He doesn’t have a permit to cross at the nearby Tura checkpoint and can cross only at Barta’a. He’s very pleased with his work and altogether has mixed feelings. “I put the paper (election ballot?) in Palestine and my heart in Israel. In the end, we have to get along together.” He is in favor of the breaches “because a working person doesn’t carry out terror attacks.” He told us that during the manhunt for the escaped prisoners, there were two soldiers posted at every breach “from Jalameh to the South Hebron Hills, there is a breach every hundred meters and the army knows them all,” he laughed.