Passing to Israel through holes in the separation fence
05:30 – 07:00
05:50 – We parked next to the southern entrance to East Barta’a in the seamline zone. We discovered a new “fence crossing” south of the road that was very busy. Taxis were bringing workers and merchants from the West Bank. From there they cross through holes in the fence to the main road where taxis and transport vehicles belonging to contractors are waiting to take them to work in Barta’a, in Israel, and construction jobs in Harish. Workers that had already crossed were waiting by the side of the road, and more people were crossing in several other places along the fence where cars were also waiting to collect them.
While we were still standing there a military vehicle passed by, saw the unusual activity that was going on, and didn’t react. This was not the only security factor that is aware of this new phenomenon. It is evidently more important that the city of Harish get built and we know that the checkpoints and permits are not for national security nor for guarding health during the Corona. epidemic. Their sole purpose is to embitter the lives of the Palestinians.
Barta’a Checkpoint – 06:30
We met B., who works in the Shahak Industrial Zone. He told us that people can only cross here to the seamline zone, but in the afternoons they can return home. There are many workers who work in Israel but the Palestinian Authority will not let them come back until they have been in Israel for three weeks. That is the main reason why people prefer to cross through holes in the fence. No one is supervising them
We drove back through the town of East Barta’a. Agricultural produce (grapes and vine leaves) that had been brought in through holes in the fence was already on display in the vegetable shops. Workers were sitting in the square that divides East Barta’a from West Barta’a who had cross through the openings in the fence and were waiting for rides to go to work in Israel.