Northern checkpoints: Most of the crossing takes place within the separation fence

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Ruth Edmonds and Neta Golan (Reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

5:45 – Route 611 – Many people were crossing the separation fence through the hole near the village of Luxor.  Vehicles with Israeli and Palestinian license plates were waiting to transport them.   Even more vehicles, including minibuses, were waiting at the junction leading .down to Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint.

06:00 – Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint – Seamline Zone Side

A new sign that reads “Welcome” greeted people who arrive. (Photo: Ruth Edmonds).  It was very cold and people were waiting under the shed (Photo: Neta).   We walked down the covered sleeveinfo-icon and passed people walking up towards cars that would take them to their workplaces in Israel or in the seamline zone.  A few stop to buy coffee and cake at the kiosk that belongs to the settler from Hermesh.   One person told us that people were being delayed for additional inspections.  Others reported that crossing was “OK”.  A.,  who owns a vineyard  near the settlement of Maoz Zvi told us that he is afraid to go there since the incident with the armed girls on March 5th (See report by Ruthi Tuval) and that who also approached the Yesh Din Organization about the incident.  He said that the people from Mevo Dotan were good and that the soldiers were also good.  Only the people from Maoz Zvi  are not good.  He wanted us to asked the good soldiers to help him, and he doesn’t understand our limitations. 

06:30 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

The gatesinfo-icon of the checkpoint were still locked, but that only bothered the few drivers who were waiting on the other side of the fence.  We drove down the dirt road leading to the lone house and to the hole in the separation fence.  No one was crossing there at this hour, but many young people were crossing in the hole nearby that is next to the checkpoint and to the village of Tura.  Cars were already waiting for them. . 

06:45 – A’anin Checkpoint - Recently M., the tractor driver is the only one who crosses regularly at the checkpoint, did not answer his phone.  We didn’t see anyone else there.  If they come, they will be able to cross on foot through the hole  near the gate.  We didn’t wait for the army who might or might not arrive to open the gate.  Perhaps they arrange things with M.  Later M. returned our phone call and said that he had not crossed to his fields this morning.

07:00 Upper Entrance Road to Um El Fahem – A lot of people were crossing on foot through the wide hole in the fence between A’anin in the West Bank and the Israeli city of Um El Fahem.  Many cars were already waiting to drive them to work.  We drove down to Route 65 through Wadi Eron.  Groups of people who evidently have no permanent jobs, were waiting at several street corners hoping for temporary work.  How .very sad.