Barta'a-Reihan, Tayba-Rummana, Tura-Shaked, Ya'bed-Dotan

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Shula Bar (photographing), Neta Golan (reporting). Translator: Charles K.



06:30  A’anin checkpoint

We were late.  The farmers already went through.  The soldiers are still there.


06:40  Barta’a-Reihan checkpoint

Many people wait on the seam zone side for rides to work, and many cars and taxis wait for riders.  Two Palestinians sell coffee to those waiting.

The parking lot on the Palestinian side is still being renovated.  A long line of cars parked along the road.  A dozen pickup trucks loaded with merchandise are parked parallel to the line of cars, waiting to be inspected.  The improvised parking lot up the road is full.  Many cars also park next to the blocked “bridge.”


06:55  Ya’bed-Mevo Dothan checkpoint

The checkpoint still isn’t manned; there’s not much traffic.


07:00  Soldiers arrive; traffic stops for a few minutes.  A line forms from Jenin to the west.  The soldiers erect a cone-shaped sign reading “Stop – Checkpoint.”  A polite soldier approaches us.  He knows we’re from Machsom Watch, says there are a range of opinions, asks us to be careful of thrown rocks , says that last time our colleagues hadn’t reported on this checkpoint.  So we’re reporting.  Cars go through with no delay, people are pulled randomly for a brief questioning, and that’s it.  Faded flags of Israel and of the regional council fly along the road up to Mavo Dothan.  An undignified occupation.


07:20  On our way back we saw the heavy iron gate blocking the side road to Ya’bed, locked as usual.  A military car parks next to the pillbox opposite the gate.


07:35  Tura-Shaked checkpoint

We’re surprised to see so many people still there at this hour, waiting to cross to the seam zone.  People say the checkpoint opened late; they also note that crossing proceeds slowly.  We see that people exit to the seam zone at a very slow rate.  The trash bin overflows; the area is very dirty.


08:00  Taybe-Rummaneh checkpoint

The Border Police, which usually operates this checkpoint, haven’t yet arrived.  About 30 men, women and children wait to cross to the seam zone imprisoned between the fence and the outskirts of Umm el Fahm.

08:15  The Border Police arrives and opens the gate a quarter-hour late.

08:20  The sole tractor waiting goes through.  The others follow - farmers, mothers and their children.  The children are very well dressed.  They’re celebrating the final days of vacation.  The school year in Palestine begins Sunday.  Every bag is carefully inspected, the soldier removes its contents, examines it, asks questions.

One of the people crossing wishes us good morning with a sour expression on his face.  How are things, we ask.  Lousy! he replies.


08:40  We left before everyone had finished crossing.