Jalama checkpoint: vaccine refusers for corona

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Zafrira Zamir, Adina (Frequent Guest), Neta Golan (Reporting), Translation: Bracha  Ben-Avraham


15:00 – Jalameh Checkpoint

We had not visited this checkpoint for a long time.  Our members of Machsom Watch Marina and Ruthi came here to observe to and a half weeks ago and wrote about the COVID-19 vaccination campaign being carried out.  We came to see what was happening.    

The area around the checkpoint has changed drastically.  The gatesinfo-icon to the vehicle checkpoint were closed.  The checkpoint, which was once filled with Israeli Arabs on their way to Jenin and back, is now quiet.  Crossing was forbidden throughout the year of the Corona virus and is still forbidden.  The Corona situation on the West Bank is bad, and so is the economic situation in Jenin.

One our way to the parking lot huge trucks passed us on their way to the cargo back – to – back inspection point.  The parking lot for cars, transport vehicles, and busses has decreased in size.  A large part of it was fenced in and is not accessible.  The awning where people waited that was constructed several years ago, as well as the drinking fountain, are now behind the fence.    At least the rest rooms can be accessed.  The only thing that has been expanded was the covered sleeveinfo-icon, which has been extended beyond the original section next to the terminal.

Men and women were coming to the checkpoint on their way home.  Most appeared to be agricultural workers who work in the area of the Beit Sean Valley and the Jezrael Valley.  They were not accustomed to seeing us at the checkpoint and many were interested in our tags or greeted us and welcomed us.   We went to the entrance and saw that people were moving quickly through the turnstile next to it.  Most of the men and women were older and looked tired as they walked down the long, depressing sleeve to the terminal.  We did not feel comfortable photographing them and didn’t ask their permission.   

Two maintenance workers were sitting at the entrance to the terminal who were residents of the nearby village of Jalameh next to the Palestinian entrance to the checkpoint.   They showed us the entrance to the vaccination area next to the terminal.  They told us that the facility was open from 10:00 – 17:00 and that they had received their first vaccination as many others had.  The second set of vaccination will begin in mid – April.  There were some people who refused to be vaccinated, and they pointed one of them out.          

At 15:30 we returned to the parking lot.  The kiosk next to it was closed.

We thought of going to Reihan – Barta’a Checkpoint to observe, but decided not to because of the heavy traffic.