Jalama, Reihan, Shaked, Tue 11.12.12, Afternoon
Translation: Bracha B.A.
14:50 – Jalamen Checkpoint
We brought the lovely child R., and her delightful parents, to the checkpoint. R. had undergone an unsuccessful bone marrow transplant at Rambam Hospital. After three months of hospitalization she was sent home to wait for another transplant. Two weeks ago R. celebrated her 10th birthday in the hospital. She is returning home laden with presents and happy, despite her illness. We wish her and her parents a successful transplant and full recovery.
There is almost no traffic at the checkpoint at this time. People going to the West Bank pass through an open gate without going into the terminal, which is closed. In another 10 minutes it will open to admit people entering Israel.
15:40 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint
Two people walk through to the West Bank. It is very quiet.
16:00 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side
The parking lot is completely filled. Six small trucks with cargo are waiting on the road on their way to the seamline zone. Two private cars are waiting in front of the vehicle checkpoint.
Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side
We walk down the sleeve with workers returning from work in Israel to their homes in the West Bank. A second window opened and there was no line. One man complained about the new director of the Jalamen Checkpoint, who does not allow merchants to bring bags of merchandise through the checkpoint that were ordered by Israeli vendors – something that was allowed by the previous director. A young man is detained on the bench inside the terminal. He comes to the doorway and tells us that he studied computers, but there is no work in the West Bank, so he has to do construction work in Israel without a permit. He is immediately called back to the bench. Woman students cross from the West Bank to the seamline zone. One woman tells us that she is studying physics at the Arab-American University near Jenin. One of the students asks if we can help and we refer her to the Machsom Watch website.
16:45 – More and more people are arriving. An elderly woman arrives with the workers and is allowed to go ahead of them. A third window opens for people with permits to work in Israel. They wave their permits in the air. We look to see if there is some sort of sensor but instead we see a security guard standing on the bridge, checking their permits and directing them to the third window.
17:15 – We go back up the sleeve. People greet us and wish us Happy Hanukah. One person formally says "Shalom Aleichem". It is dark. The fake well with its hanging bucket is lit up with pink and green lights. The Hanukah Menorah which was placed at the checkpoint has not yet been lit.