Reihan, Shaked, Mon 6.7.09, Afternoon

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Leah R., Anna N.Sh’ (Reporting)

Translation: Bracha B.A.

Reihan-Barta’a Checkpoint, 16:40
The parking lot is full of cars that were left there in the morning when people went to work, as wel as yellow taxis and private cars of drivers who unofficially drive people to work.  The drivers of the taxis are usually residents of Barta’a who drove down to the lower parking lot and compete with the permanent Palestinian drivers from the West Bank for the little work they have.  Recently unofficial taxi drivers are not permitted to drive to Jenin.  One of the drivers told us that he was caught by the Palestinian police in Jenin and fined NIS 600 for driving passengers for pay.

Despair and helplessness force drivers to look for employment solutions.  They ask us if it is possible to work at alternative jobs but we have no solution either.

At 4:00 they spread out the prayer rugs to worship and some pray.

A handsome youth, about 15-year-old, is spending his summer vacation selling coffee at the checkpoint.  He goes from one person to the next offering his wares in small plastic cups.  He also approaches us and does not leave us alone until we offer an excuse.  People are coming back from work now.  Among them are some who came through Irtah in the morning who report that there is improvement there, but ask to be able to come earlier during the coming hot days and the approaching month of Ramadan.  People are coming through the terminal at a reasonable rate without being delayed, and according to the routine regulations.

At this time there are no tenders with merchandise to check and occasionally a private vehicle comes through.

16:30 – Shaked Tura-Checkpoint
A large herd of goats crosses the road, reminding us of the pastoral character of the area that no longer exists.  A young woman traditionally covered on this hot day holds two children: one is an infant.  She needs to get to Barta’a and waits in Leah’s car until someone comes to pick her up.  There is little traffic at this hour.

We left at 17:00.