Barta`a checkpoint: The mother will pass, her children will not

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Tami Rituv (photos), and Hannah Heller (Reporting) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

15:10 – 16:40

15:10 – Barta’a Checkpoint

Three army vehicles were present in the upper parking lot and armed soldiers were present (due to the tension and incidents that occurred yesterday?)   Before 15:30 many workers began to return from work in Israel and in the seamline zone and told us that  when the checkpoint opened at 04:30 in the morning it was very crowded, and that crossing had taken anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half. 

The two parking lots in the village of Zibda were full and there were not many pars  on the road leading to the checkpoint as there had been in recent weeks.   The parking lot opposite the village was still empty.  We met   a woman from Nablus who was going to her brother’s wedding in Um al Fahem, but her two small children who were waiting at the entrance to the terminal with their father were not allowed to cross.  She was met by her Israeli relatives who attempted to get help from the Barta’a Regional Council. 

15:30  Aanin Agricultural Checkpoint

About 60 people and two tractors were waiting next to the gate.   The gate opened at exactly 16:00 and everyone went in towards the exit leading to the village.   All crossed  without being checked, while four soldiers stood on the side and observed.   Within 3 minutes the area of the checkpoint was empty, and tractors loaded with sacks of olives continued to arrive and cross in a quiet and orderly manner.  Another person told us that next week the olive harvest would end and the checkpoint would again be open only two days a week.  This would force people to hae to travel to Barta’a checkpoint and cross there, which is much farther from the village.


15:25  Tura  Shaked Checkpoint

A lot of cars were crossing in both directions to the point where a line had formed going in the direction of the West bank.  Workers were returning to the West Bank after work, and families with children were crossing in both directions.   A resident of Yaabed who was crossing to the seamline zone told us that yesterday a taxi driver was shot and killed while driving.   The incident aroused the village and people were throwing rocks in the streets.  The army responded with  fire.  Another person was seriously injured.  Today the army locked the main gate to the village.