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

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Ruthi Touval . Chana Stein translating

14.20. Y’abed-Dotan checkpoint.

The checkpoint was wide open, even the boom blocking passage on the bypass route is open today. An army vehicle arrives with three mature, calm soldiers who alight and ask me what I am doing, and politely advise me to move away ’’because there have been a number of attack attempts on this road.”  One of them enters our Facebook, at my suggestion, and his companion says, half-jokingly: “a leftist, huh” They also don’t know who built the chain of pillboxes between Barta’a and Y’abed checkpoints (I counted six.)

14.40. Barta’a –Reihan checkpoint.

The carpark on the Palestinian side is completely full. People talk about the magnetic cards recently renewed, but not required at the checkpoint. H, a young and friendly young man who kept a small counter selling coffee and candy, and also a delivery business, recently got into a violent scrap with a competing driver. He was released from home arrest. This, after a temporary “sulha” was arranged between the two families. According to the arrangement, his family paid 10,000 shekels to the wounded party to pay for hospital expenses and is obligated to pay him monthly wages until he recovers.

15.10. In the upper parking lot, seamline zone, T.C., a driver from east Barta’a, 27 years old, tells me that he was badly beaten by two Druze Border Policemen, without cause, after he told them that he had come to renew his magnetic card. An officer arrived at the place, also a Druze, and after they whispered something to him he told them to continue beating him. He doesn’t know their names as their tags were written in Hebrew. According to him, he has many witnesses, but in fact, no one dared to interfere. He promised to give precise details about the time of the incident – day and hour – but apparently decided against.

15.30. Many workers return from work in busses, taxis and private cars. I went down with them to the terminal as far as the first turnstile of the three they have to pass to reach the Palestinian car park. They pass quickly and nimbly with sacks of apples, large bundles, gifts for the children.