Reihan, Mon 10.12.07, Afternoon

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Lea R. and Anna N. S. (reporting)
Seriously? Does this make us safer?

15:30 Reihan-Barta'a CP

The lower parking lot is full of cars - "taxis" and private cars. We had difficulty finding a place to park. Groups of laborers from the seamline zone ahd from Israel kept going through on the way back to the West Bank. We were told that in the afternoon about 1000 people go through the terminal on their way back home on the West Bank. It took people about a quarter of an hour from the time of entering the terminal to the exit.

On the crowded parking lot, it is sad to see the taxi drivers looking anxiously at those leaving the terminal - who is looking for a ride and who has somebody waiting for him. M. gets two passengers going to the bridge. Five shekels. This is his first trip today. "What can I do?" he says quietly. "What can I do?"

Some of those returning left this morning for work in Israel through the Artach CP (Shaar Efraim, near Taibeh). They tell us that every morning about 1000 laborers go through there and the inspections are very slow. They complain about ill-treatment at the hands of the General Security Service. People from the GSS take aside young people with all the proper permits and interrogate them for hours, including demeaning inspections that require them to take their clothes off. All of this is insulting and delays them on their way to work. They would prefer to go out through the Reihan CP in the morning as well.

16:00 The last group of seamstresses from Barta'a arrives. They are in a hurry for their ride.

From the West Bank in the direction of Barta'a the traffic is thinner. For the most part, there are families with small children all dressed up. One little girl stays at the turnstile, playing, turns it around here and there before she responds to her mother's call to come back. She will learn that this is no place for playing.

A pickup truck loaded with eggs is waiting for inspection; another pickup truck is loaded with sheep. Four private cars are being inspected in the white tent. And as if the depressing atmosphere is not enough, a military helicopter flies around very low three times. There are still no toilets in the terminal; people still have to urinate at the side.

Today it is very crowded here and cold.

17:00 We prepare to move. S. asks us to take him with us to Haifa and to bring him back next week, if at all.