The parking lots at the Barta checkpoint are full to capacity
06:40 Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint
Packed with cars, on the sides of the road and in all the parking lots.
We moved on to Hermesh checkpoint – all quiet, not much traffic. We had gone to see the sea squills as recommended by our friends.
07:00 Ya’bed-Dotan checkpoint
Traffic is flowing. No sign of soldiers in the watchtower.
On the way back, at Barta’a checkpoint, we go through a car inspection and questioning. The guards’ booth is being renovated. The electric barrier has been replaced by a rope that’s pulled up and down manually. A large number of workers are still waiting for transport on the seamline zone side.
07:20 Tura-Shaked checkpoint
Schoolgirls in uniform are marching towards the checkpoint. There’s lively traffic of workers and cars. The Formica panels placed on the frame of the bench are still in place and the tobacco plants are flowering in the adjacent fields.
Someone comes up to us and tells us that Qasim, our friend from Araqa is very ill. We call him. He’s broken. He’s 55 and is the family breadwinner. He’s having chemotherapy in Nablus. The Authority is covering half the cost – NIS 2,000 per treatment. We gave him the phone number of an East Jerusalem nonprofit organization in the hopes that they can help him.