Barta`a checkpoint: Who closed the private parking lot

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Neta Golan and Hannah Heller (photos and Reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

07.40  -06.00

We saw more army and police vehicles than usual on the roads in the seamline zone.    This was evidently due to the shooting incident that took place last night.

Barta’a Checkpoint 016:00

There were many transport vehicles carrying workers from the West bank to their jobs in Israel on the road from the checkpoint to Harish.  It was difficult to reach the checkpoint because the road was crowded with large yellow taxis, transit vehicles from the Reem Company, and busses belonging to Yonat Hashalom [“The Peace Dove”].  There were also private transit vehicles and cars making their way through and we also saw an emergency care ambulance from the Medical Corps. 

People were praying under the shed in the upper parking lot and an army vehicle with soldiers aiming their weapons was parked at the vehicle checkpoint near the sleeveinfo-icon.   People were walking up the sleeve with cups of coffee from the busy kiosk and greeted us.  The turnstile at the exit from the terminal was clicking rapidly, attesting to the thousands of people who were crossing the checkpoint.  Some paused to buckle their belts that they had unbuckled during inspection.  They reported that the checks had been quick and that two lanes were open.    There were also several women who crossing who worked as cleaners.

The closing of the private parking lots near the village of Zubeida had aroused rumors.  One person told us that the owner of the land had been fined because the parking lot was “illegal”.   The shortage of parking space has forced people arriving in the morning to park along the sides of the road far from the checkpoint.   A security guard informed us that checkpoint management has limited the amount of parking lots within the area of the checkpoint. 

A’anin Agricultural Checkpoint – 07:00 – Today two women soldiers were in charge of the checkpoint and took an interest in what we were doing.  Two loaded wagons carrying junk were parked in back of the checkpoint, even after it was not allowed to bring junk into the village.  The checkpoint opened at 07:00 and five tractors crossed followed by about 200 people.    Crossing took place quickly.  A soldier in the middle of the checkpoint checked everyone’s documents, even those of the older people.  Two farmers were unloading junk from the wagons after not being permitted to bring them into the village yesterday.  Today they need their wagons for work.  They hoped that today they would be permitted to bring the junk home.

Beginning October 16th the olive harvest began, and the checkpoint will be open every day from 07:00 – 07:30 and from 16:00 – 16:30 in the afternoon.  A resident of A’anin told us that his wife has a permit to cross that is valid for two years, but he only received a permit for three months and only for the olive harvest.   Recently we have had difficulty phoning the District Coordination and Liaison Office.   They refuse to answer, claiming that it is only for emergencies.  We referred him to Nihaya at the hotline for Defense of Individuals.    Another person expressed his anxiety regarding his olive grove that is bordered by the security fence.  The checkpoint closed at 07:35 after everyone had crossed. 

 Since the holes in the fence near this checkpoint were closed many people cross here and the junction near the checkpoint has become a busy site with workers and transport vehicles. 

Tura Checkpoint, 07:40 – Most of the people had already crossed and only a tractor and a few workers crossed to the seamline zone.  Four teachers crossed to the school in Dahar al Malik  and a woman from Tura crossed to harvest olives in the seamline zone, and several high school students crossed to the school in Tura