Barta'a-Reihan, Tura-Shaked

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Ruth T. Translated by: Shelly K.

The lower parking lot in Area C is already filled with vehicles but it’s still possible to find parking. Upon leaving the car –a strong, freezing wind is shaking the awning, the large metal signs, and even the separation fence. Near the yellow entry gate there is not a living soul. Afterwards it turns out that since the morning usual “Hamsa-Hamsa” (groups of five), entry has been cancelled, possibly because of the harsh weather conditions and in consideration for the people. Maybe. Everyone who arrives enters immediately and joins those in the inner passage to what is known here, in the North, to the dismay of some friends, the “Terminal” (as if it's a normal border between two sovereign countries). It appears that some of the people are not proceeding inside. I mark someone who has arrived at the facility at 6:14 and a few minutes later I wait for him at the exit passage to the seam line zone.


At 6:40 I meet a boy (a different one) near the turnstile, who has just now received a notice from his employer in Barata`a that if he is late, there is no reason for him to come to work. “He’s a tough guy”, says the boy and returns home, losing a day’s work. NIS 150. He claims that this morning there is a big mess and others have already returned home. Trying to climb back through the passage so I can talk to someone. R., Assistant Manager of the Checkpoint arrives and claims that if there is a big mess, “it’s because of “THEM”. They (the Palestinians rushing to work) need to organize and control the line and then everything will be all right. Voluntarily, of course. No, he has no budget for additional personnel, and besides that, “what? You never wait for hours to board a flight at the airport?” To my dismay, I have to remind him that we’re talking about people who have to pass through here every morning in order to earn their living, and suggest that he meet with S`, the head of the textile factory in Barta'a and an important member of the Workers Committee of all the textile factories in Jenin. They did meet the next day (yesterday) for a half hour. S. says that already on the same morning, passage was already easier.


During my conversation with R, the boy I had previously marked arrived. It is 7:07. Almost an hour. It appears that R. is somewhat embarrassed.


7:20 Tora Shaked Checkpoint

Here everything is running smoothly. Little children arrive on foot from Dahar El-Malek; a vehicle brings students up to the checkpoint; there is no line of cars and near the turnstile five or six people are waiting. The usual garbage is all over the place.