Northern checkpoints: Routine routine

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Tami Rituv (photos), Adina (Frequent Guest), Neta Golan (Reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

15:30 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

On our way to the checkpoint we saw that many solar panels had been installed on the rooftops of the houses in the tiny village of Hirbet Radiyyeh.  It is like a real solar farm.  We will try and find out who initiated this.

At the checkpoint itself everything was as usual.  There was little traffic and a lot of litter.   A police car arrived from the seamline zone, entered the checkpoint, and continued on its way  along the security road.

We drove past Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint.  Many workers were returning home and the parking lot and the roadside were filled with cars.  Trucks were also driving up to their inspection facility.  We continued to Hermesh Checkpoint which was open, and there was light traffic in both directions.   The watchtower looked as if it was falling apart.

16:00 – Yaabed – Dotan Checkpoint

The checkpoint  and the entire area were filled with greenery.  There was a lot of traffic in both directions.    A sign on the other side of the road warned against entering Area A.   There was an unusually large amount of soldiers and army vehicles.  While we were there they did not stop any Palestinian vehicles.    

A flock of sheep walked alongside us and grazed in the shadow of the fence along the road near the village of Emricha.  A soldier once told us that the fence was put up to prevent people from throwing rocks at vehicles on the road.  On our way back we stopped at the small store belonging to our friend F.  There was a sign saying “Happy Passover” in Hebrew that had been made by F’s husband who knows Hebrew.

16:30 – Barta’a – Reihan Checkpoint, Palestinian Side

The parking lots were beginning to empty out.  At the opening of the covered area leading to the Palestinian side there was a “market” where snacks were being sold.  Our guest was shocked to see the fenced – in walkways and the humiliation that people are subjected to by having to walk through them.  Two people asked us to help them eliminate bans from entering Israel – one by the police and one by the security services.  We gave them cards with Sylvia’s contact information and wished them luck.      

On our way to the seamline zone the security guard at the vehicle checkpoint asked us who we were and what we were doing there.  She was evidently new and did not know about Machsom Watch and had not been informed. 

16:50 – Reihan – Barta’a, Seamline Zone Side

Workers continued to arrive and walk down the covered fenced – in sleeveinfo-icon to the West bank.   Tami and I walked down with them.  Adina could not bear the sight any longer.  The kiosk was closed because of the Passover holiday.  Maybe people will buy more on the Palestinian side.  People were crossing through the turnstile and the door to the terminal was closed.

17:10 – On our way back the same security guard asked us why we had come at that time of day.  We explained that we wanted to see the people coming home from work and he claimed that they were dealt with efficiently.  We asked how people cross from the West bank to the seamline zone when the terminal was closed.  The people cross through the vehicle checkpoint where there documents are checked.  The cars and packages are checked at the vehicle checkpoint.  We also asked about the truck crossing.  We were told that it is open until 16:00 or 18:00.  50 Palestinian trucks are allowed to cross to the seamline zone each day.        

On our way home we saw signs advertising the Northern Samaria race – another superfluous sign of Israeli supremacy.