Barta'a checkpoint: Six thousand pass through in the morning

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Neta Golan and Shuli Bar

At the Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint, at 5:50, the shed/corral leading to the turnstiles and from there to the ‘terminal’ was empty. Within 10-15 minutes, it was filled to bursting with people. At the same time, passage from it to the terminal stopped. After about 15 minutes the passage was opened, people rushed through the turnstiles towards the terminal and the shed was emptied again (and the terminal filled). It seemed to be an initiated stop – filling and emptying…

 Passage from the lower Palestinian car park to the upper car park in the seam zone took about 20 minutes. In a talk with one of the heads of the checkpoint last week he reminded me that at the International Ben Gurion airport you must wait longer… The inevitable comparison and justification. As if one’s way to work every day is comparable to a trip abroad once in a blue moon… Anyway, there was no chaos this morning, and no complaints were heard.

Everyone misses the breaches in the Separation Fence.

A youngster from Tul Karm lost his magnetic card along with his ID. At the checkpoint he was notified (before being sent back) that he had an appointment to renew his documents in 20 days. Until then – no going to work. Another youngster received a note from Neta with Sylvia’s number, about his GSS blacklisting.

At Ya’abad-Dotan Checkpoint, at 6:45 no soldiers were seen, and the meager traffic was managed unhampered.

At Anin Checkpoint (opened to farmers twice a week), at 6:55 about 50 people were waiting with 2 tractors for the checkpoint to open. During the ‘breach period’, no one waited for the soldiers except for a tractor driver or two. At 2 minutes to 7, soldiers began to have the crowd pass. Not everyone. Several young men were refused, claiming they had not paid their traffic fines.

The large breach at the checkpoint has been closed with barbed wire, and a 24-hour guard by Nahal soldiers. During the rest of the week (on days when the checkpoint is inactive) presumably they lie there idle.

Registration is now open for gambling when the breaches in the fence will be back. It was good and effective on both sides of the fence, too bad it looked bad on photos.