North checkpoints - Palestinian arrested after 5 hours of waiting in the sun

Twitter FB Whatsapp Email
Marina Banai, Ruti Toubal Translator: Charles K.

14:25  Tura-Shaked checkpoint

Nothing at all is happening at the checkpoint.  A young woman exits and is picked up by a taxi that came out soon after her.  Since the nearby gap in the separation fence was mended the guard tower, which had been vacant for many years, is permanently manned.  We tried to speak with the soldier who had apparently photographed us but he wasn’t interested.

At 15:00 we crossed through the Barta’a checkpoint and met Na’am, who is the volunteer director of “Baderech LeHachlama” on the West Bank.  We transfer through him funds that have been donated to the organization for M., a girl from Al-Yamoun, who fell from the roof of her house about six years ago and needs treatment and medications.  All the parking areas, near and far, were completely full.  Large warning stickers had been affixed to the windshields of three cars parked along the road – they’re very difficult to remove.

We continued to the Yabed-Dothan checkpoint.  We arrived at 15:20.   We immediately noticed a Palestinian car parked opposite the pillbox in the area on the other side of the road, because its doors were opened wide.  We parked near the intersection and started walking toward it.  We walked around the concrete barriers.  We’re usually stopped and prevented from approaching this area.  This time, although an armed soldier watched us from high in the pillbox, no one shouted at us or made us leave.  A Palestinian man, A., who sat in the car beneath the blazing sun, told us excitedly in Arabic (of which we understood only a little) that he’s already been waiting four hours, from 11:00 AM!  His ID had been taken as well as one of his two telephones.  He showed us a bag filled with cash and a bank document.  We question the soldiers; they tell us “it’s a military matter.”  At Chana Barag’s suggestion, we telephoned the Salem DCO.  Colonel A. agreed to speak with the Palestinian, then gave us some information about him and promised to get back to us after he looked into it.  Eventually, at 16:23, he informed us that the man will be arrested, even though no one had said anything to him.  An officer and soldier had arrived in the interim with a large bottle of cold water.  A. rinsed his face.  We plan to drive to Ummeriha to buy him something to eat, start to leave, look back for a minute and before our very eyes see the soldiers blindfold him with a black cloth, handcuff him and lead him to the closed area at the foot of the pillbox.  It seemed they had waited only for us to leave.

Many cars, filled with workers, some greeting us by name.  Traffic stops briefly when the three cross the road.  We left with a heavy heart and many unanswered questions.

16:40  We again go through the Barta’a-Dothan checkpoint.  Dozens of workers walk along the road to the distant parking lots.  They move in groups down the long, fenced corridor from the seam zone to the terminal and the West Bank.