security incident at Barta’a Checkpoint
13:45 – Barta’a – Reihan Checkpoint
The gates to the checkpoint were locked. We approached to see why and were told that there was a “security incident” taking place. Cars began to accumulate at the entrance to the checkpoint. We walked down the sleeve and a security guard opposite the vehicle checkpoint told us to stop. We waited and suddenly heard explosions of shooting from the Palestinian side. At 14:00 the “incident” or “exercise ended and the gates to the checkpoint opened and cars began to move. At the next checkpoint that separates between Israelis and residents of the occupied territories there were Israeli Arabs who intended to travel to Tulkarem and were politely moved back because of “instructions from the Ministry of Health”. Palestinians with permits were permitted to continue. We continued to the turnstiles. The terminal was closed to people crossing to the seamline zone. They crossed on foot through the vehicle crossing. On our way back we met the first workers returning from work, who greeted us. They had been working from 07:00 to 14:00. There is still no roof over the older part of the sleeve.
14:30 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint
A vehicle belonging to the “Security Barrier Maintenance” sped towards the checkpoint and turned right towards Barta’a Checkpoint. A small truck crossed to the West Bank. There is a tremendous amount of litter around, but the soldier who approaches us doesn’t seems to be bothered by it.