Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan, Sun 14.7.13, Afternoon

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Ruthi T.

Translation: Bracha B.A.


Mari is returning home after 17 days of hospitalization and 4 operations at Rambam Hospital, in Haifa.  We drive her as far as the Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint. 


16:25 – Yaabed Dotan Checkpoint

The checkpoint is manned.  Vehicles are crossing without delay, at least in Area C where we are waiting for the driver who is on his way to pick up Mari and her father.   Meanwhile I go up to the white concrete barriers and the soldiers approach.  When the taxi will cross the soldiers will just ask how the child is feeling and wave to her.

On my way back to the Barta'a Checkpoint I encountered a group of soldiers near Yaabed Checkpoint near the village of Emricha.    I was not able to stop safely because the road is narrow and cars are speeding along to pick workers up at the checkpoint.


17:00 – Reihan – Barta'a Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

The parking lot is not too crowded.  Hadi, the nice owner of the concession stand, whose name in Arabic means "calm" (similar to the word "hadiyyeh" or lack of hostilities), has finished cleaning up for the day. The concession stand is closed for the month of Ramadan.  He works five days a week for eight hours a day and earns NIS 1800 a month.  His father, who is handicapped, works part time as a driver for short distances only.  Hadi is waiting for a permit to enter the seamline zone and then to enter Israel, because he misses Haifa.

Suddenly a group of people arrives and excitedly report that soldiers have detained them at the Yaabed Checkpoint.   That's what I saw before, out of the corner of my eye.  The checkpoint was locked for a long time and has been open for five days because of Ramadan. They were detained because someone was throwing stones.  "Who, me?"  Declares one of them.  "If I catch anyone throwing stones I'll cut his hands off."   At any rate, there were no stones thrown on the road.  


17:40 – Reihan Barta'a Checkpoint, Seamline Zone Side

There is a new green covering opposite the exit gate in back of the sign that points to the biometer inspection point.   Everyone is going there.  I ask someone what will happen if he doesn't place his finger and if there is another inspection point on the way out.  He says there is not, but that tomorrow morning he would be asked why he didn't come back.   We laugh, "But you came from Palestine, how could it be that you didn't come back yesterday?"  There is no common sense in security measures here.


18:00 – Shaked – Tura Checkpoint

Three or four people and a couple of vehicles crossed this "fabric of life" checkpoint while I was there.  The checkpoint is immaculately equipped.