Hermesh checkpoint: A sparkling new road leads to the settlement
14:50 – Anin Checkpoint
The checkpoint is still not open since the general closure due to the Corona virus outbreak. The gate in the direction of the Seamline Zone is open. To our surprise, unlike in the past weeks, there are no soldiers in the place. Perhaps this is a good sign for the expected opening of the checkpoint next week.
15:00 – Tura-Shaked Checkpoint
Quiet. Traffic is slow in both directions. A young person crosses over to the Seamline Zone on the automobile path, accompanied by a donkey. Two women pass on the pedestrian path. A venerable older person accepts with a blessing, an offer from us for a ride. The man is a resident of Hirbat al Ra’adiya. He says that only residents of his tiny village and residents of Daher al Malec and Umm Reihan are allowed to pass and return through this checkpoint to Area A in the West Bank. Workers in the nearby industrial area, Shahak, have to pass through the distant Barta’a Checkpoint.
We pass by Barta’a Checkpoint. The large parking lot on the Palestinian side is packed full; the other two private lots above the road are also almost full.
15:20 – Harmish Checkpoint
We are impressed with the shiny new road. The checkpoint, as usual, is not manned. From this point on, the road is not shiny, and does not lead to the settlements.
15:30 – Yabed-Dotan Checkpoint
An army vehicle is parked in the area of the checkpoint. Cars travel in two directions, without any delay. Only cement blocks cause a slowdown.
15:50 – The parking lots on the Palestinian side of Barta’a Checkpoint are still full. Four loaded trucks are parked in the vehicle area. Many people arrive from work in Israel and go down the screened-in sleeve (the enclosed pathway to and from the checkpoint) to the Palestinian side.
This time we avoid the crowding in the parking lot and observe for a while, what is happening from the side.