Massive expansion of Barta'a checkpoint parking lots

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Rachel Weizman and Ruthi Tuval (Photos) Translation: Bracha Ben-Avraham

06:40  We passed Reihan-Barta’a Checkpoint 

06:40 – many workers were hiking uphill through the sleeveinfo-icon to begin a day of hard work – certainly a way to keep in shape…?

The parking lots were almost completely filled except for those reserved for merchants from Barta’a who will arrive at 09:00.  We continued south and noticed changes on the left side of the road.   We will examine this further when we come back.

07:00  Yaabed-Dotan Checkpoint

There was one lone soldier in the pillbox and this time we were not met by many soldiers.  Drivers were traveling in both directions without delay and greeting us with “Sabakh el khair” (Good morning). 

07:15 – Hermesh Checkpoint

The checkpoint was completely quiet.  We drove on another 200 meters into Area A, a real adventure.  At 07:25 we drove back to Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint. 

Below Zabde south of the old parking lot,  there were two new parking lots being paved.  We parked at the site and were excited to discover that Charlie, the “secret manager” of the checkpoint, was there.  Nothing changes, and it is impossible to talk with him.  “Go ask the Ministry of Security.”  Perhaps that is what we will do.  Israel, after all, sees itself as the sovereign master in the area.  So why is Israel not seeing to it that the area is cleaned up?  Charlie is evidently dissatisfied with the sloppy manner in which the area is being prepared to pave new parking lots.    There was a loud argument going on.  We will follow up to see what happens.

07:40 – A long line of trucks drove up to the inspection facility.    Many workers were still walking up to the junction. 

07:50 – Tura – Shaked Checkpoint

A worker remarked “Nice morning.”  An army jeep stopped next to us.  A major took real interest in our organization and asked significant questions.   We answered as best we could and recommended that he visit our website.