North Bank checkpoints - overcrowding and commotion

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Rachel W. and Ruthi T. (Photographer) Marcia L., Translation

06:35. – Barta’a-Reihan Checkpoint

At 05:38 We received a video on WhatsApp that describes the crowding and the tumult in the passage shed.  When we arrived, workers confirmed that there was chaos because the authorities returned to opening at 05:00 instead of at 04:00.  We went down the sleeveinfo-icon (the enclosed passage to the terminal).  Someone approached us and said with a smile, “Certainly they saw your cameras and they started the passage through the checkpoint now in an orderly way.

07:20 -Hermesh Checkpoint

It’s known that this checkpoint no longer functions.  Only cement blocks slow down the cars racing through.  A shepherd from the Turkameni tribe, who was beyond the abandoned guard tower, leads his goat herd next to the entrance to the settlement of Hermesh.

07:45 – Ya’bed- Dotan Checkpoint

There are no delays in the car traffic.  Army trash is scattered without shame near the checkpoint.  A soldier came down from the pillbox (guard tower), walked around among the cars, and finally informed us, “It is forbidden for you to park here.  “This is a security junction.” We wandered around for a bit in the nearby fields.  Okra seedlings are beginning to bloom.


08:35 – Tura-Shaked Cehckpoint

A medical corps ambulance is parked on the road system.  Six soldiers descend the stairs from the guard tower.  Three of them, respectable officers, walk in the direction of the ambulance. We ask, “What happened”?  One of them “answers”: “Do you have good money from the Europeans”?  We didn’t really get into the deeper meaning of the “answer,” whenAC the officers continued, “Tennis is a very nice sport, I suggest.”  And finally: “I heard that (Amir) Hatzroni is single.” The officer then entered the vehicle self-satisfied and drove off.  (Amir Hatzroni is thought to be controversial for what some consider his radical views.) 

We were not able to calm down from these negative pearls of wisdom when a soldier appeared: “Do you remember me?  You yelled at me when I ate here during Ramadan.”  “Nu, and that helped me?  I learned something. Did you learn something? “I asked.  “Does it look like it to you?” he answered

09:30 – The man who made the video earlier this morning called and said that he was at the Checkpoint from 05:05 until 06:00.  “Don’t ‘ask how many there were.  It was like a war.  Today and yesterday were very difficult.  We did little work.”


T., a checkpoint employee, said that they open at 04:30.  We told her that the workers complain about the crowding and chaos.  She requested that we return to her later.  Later, her new answer was that . . . “the opening hour was a governmental decision”. We asked, “Then what did the government decide?”  She referred us to the Ministry of Defense’s Passage authority, “Ramim.” We wandered through Ramim’s site and found the telephone number of the “Reihan Passage,” which we’ve known for a long time.